The two businesses will share one of three parcels that were formerly part of the Whispering Pines mobile home park.
One Way Collision, owned by Bob and Jane Dehnel, will build a brand-new, 12,000-square-foot body shop facility on the half of the lot that fronts on Main Street. Brickner’s, owned by Jim and Maria Brickner, will use the half of the lot fronting on Thielman Street to park vehicle inventory.
Jim Brickner said his family’s business has expanded to the full capacity of its current location. In addition, the dealership’s rental car business has taken off, triggering the need for more space to park vehicles. Having the additional parking area nearby also will allow Brickner’s Park City to increase its used vehicle inventory, he added.
One Way Collision Center has likewise outgrown its current location on East First Street. Bob designed the floor plan for the new shop to eliminate all the inefficiencies he’s been forced to live with in the current building.
“He laid it out just the way he wanted it,” said Keith Maahs of Urban Construction, who will be constructing the building. “It was actually fun working with Bob.”
Along with increasing efficiency, the new location will allow the Dehnels to double the capacity of their auto collision repair service and expand their auto paint service by adding an additional spray booth. The Dehnels plan to take full advantage of the extra space by adding additional services such as spray-on bedliners, truck accessories such as push bars and running boards, and a new drive-through estimate bay.
The record-setting April snowfall this year set the construction project back a bit, but good weather should put it back on schedule, Maahs noted. Urban will be putting up the new One Way Collision Center building as well as the Nelson’s Powerhouse project, which will go underway soon just to the west.
All the supplies for the One Way Collision Center building are on site and ready for when the concrete work is finished.
The city of Merrill purchased the former mobile home park last fall, after the previous owner moved all the homes off the site. The city offered the property to developers in three parcels fronting East Main Street. The Brickner’s/One Way Collision Center development will be on the center parcel. Another local Merrill business, Nelson’s Powerhouse, will begin construction of a new facility on the western lot in the coming weeks. The city is continuing its efforts to facilitate business development on the eastern parcel.