Owners hope to move into renovated site by July
The Westlie Ford service and parts departments will relocate from downtown Camas to the dealership’s sales location in Washougal in April, following the purchase of its landmark building by Fuel Medical.
The moves will involve remodeling projects and expansions by both companies.
Fuel Medical has purchased the building at 314 N.E. Birch St., for $825,000. The purchase includes a parking lot for employees, across the street from the Westlie building.
The founders of Fuel Medical, Shawn Parker and Brendan Ford, live in Camas.
“We were looking for a fun place for our employees,” Parker said. “The downtown Camas area is great. We love the main street. The staff can have a cool building that we can renovate, and they can walk to lunch and coffee breaks.”
Fuel Medical started in downtown Vancouver in 2011 before moving to 16906 S.E. First St., Ste. 101, in east Vancouver. Its current office space is 2,500 square feet, and the future site is 10,000 square feet.
Parker said the company helps physicians grow their practices through marketing support and financial analytics.
“We are a business consulting group,” he said. “We help them run the business side of their practices.”
Robertson & Olsen, of Camas, will be the contractor of the renovation project, which is expected to cost $400,000 to $800,000.
Parker said it will involve demolishing the interior, while saving as much old wood and brick as possible.
He hopes to be moved into the new location by July 25.
“It would be fun to be there before Camas Days starts,” Parker said.
Fuel Medical currently has 30 employees.
Within six months of the move, Parker would like that number to increase to 40.
“This new place will really help with growth and bring on more employees,” he said.
In 2012, Fuel Medical had revenues of $3.3 million. The company has grown by nearly 700 percent over the past three years.
The Westlie Ford body shop will remain across the street from 314 N.E. Birch St., while the service and parts departments will relocate to 40 S. Marina Way.
“All of our daily operations will move out here,” said Ryan Dickerson, who owns Westlie with his brother Bret and father Randy.
Ryan said the service and parts departments should be operational, next to the sales department, in May. There will be “extensive” remodeling before that.
The current service department contains 10 bays. That will double to more than 20 at the new site.
There are currently 54 Westlie employees in the service, parts, body shop and sales departments.
“It was a little difficult for us to sell it, but we needed to expand,” Ryan said regarding the building constructed in 1917. “We were landlocked. It’s a good thing the [Fuel Medical] company is bringing employees downtown.
“We’re staying in the community,” he added. “It’s just a little more conducive to be out on the highway.”
The historic building is the former site of Parker Motors and Stoller Motors. Ryan’s grandfather, Lawrence “Dick” Dickerson, started working at the Westle Ford dealership in 1946, and he purchased it from John Westlie in 1961.