Gary Rome Hyundai gets more Holyoke OKs for $10 million dealership

24 Jun

HOLYOKE — The City Council Ordinance Committee voted Tuesday (June 23) to recommend that Gary Rome Hyundai receive special permits sought to build a $10 million dealership on Whiting Farms Road.

“We still think this is a great project for the city,” Rome lawyer Thomas N. “Toby” Wilson said during a public hearing at City Hall.

The full City Council will vote on the committee’s recommendations at a special meeting Wednesday (June 24) at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.

Pursuit of the special permits are followup steps after the City Council voted 14-0 May 19 to grant Rome a zone change so he can build the dealership on nearly 19 acres across from Autumn and Lynch drives. The site is up the road from the Holyoke Mall at Ingleside.

One special permit is to allow for a motor vehicle repair garage on nearly 19 acres Rome is buying on Whiting Farms Road across from Autumn and Lynch drives. The other is for new and used cars and trucks and marine and recreational vehicles.

The project will provide 50 new full-time jobs, some part-time jobs, thousands of dollars a years in property tax revenue and an increase in employee payroll to more than $7 million from the current $4.6 million, Rome has said.

Rome is buying the Whiting Farms Road property from the Holyoke Gas and Electric Department for $2,050,000.

Ordinance Committee members had few questions as Rome pointed to features on a map like where the service area and employees parking would be and how security cameras would be posted.

“Everything is clearly delineated,” Ordinance Committee Chairwoman Rebecca Lisi said.

Besides Wilson, two people spoke in favor of Rome getting the special permits. No one spoke in opposition.

James P. Lavelle, owner of JP’s Restaurant at 200 Whiting Farms Road, said Rome deserved to get the special permits from the city because he had abided by all reviews and regulations.

“Pass it,” Lavelle said.

“I think that the whole Rome enterprise has gone through every hoop that we have in our city. There’s good reasons for all of these. I think they’ve met every one of them,” said Helene A. Florio, president of the Holyoke Taxpayers Association.

Rome said his existing dealership here at 1000 Main St. will stay open.