J.W. Truck Sales
Where: 3585 Wallis Road, Oakwood
A longtime empty lot overlooking Interstate 985 in Oakwood is far from that now.
Some 350 trucks of various shapes and sizes now cover the area off Wallis Road, as part of newly opened J.W. Truck Sales.
And more growth is coming to the 10-acre site later this year.
The business could bump up its inventory to 700 vehicles while adding a service center and showroom — buildings with more than a combined 20,000-plus square feet in space.
All totaled, it’s about $7 million in inventory.
“You’ll be able to see us from outer space,” general manager Robert Hollis quipped Tuesday during an interview at the business.
The property, which sits off Wallis between Mundy Mill Road and Atlanta Highway/Ga. 13, has sat vacant since at least 2007, when another owner annexed the property.
Development plans never materialized for the site, but as the economy rebounded, the prime site became even more prime.
Meanwhile, J.W. Truck Sales was going through its own transition in Sugar Hill, where the business sat off Buford Drive/Ga. 20 near City Hall.
With growth taking place all around it, the company was negotiating to sell its property while scouting other locations.
“We were really just crammed in that spot,” Hollis said.
J.W.’s owners were looking for a busy spot that was also convenient, at least somewhat, to where they lived.
“This was kind of in between different places, and it’s right on the interstate,” Hollis said.
So, a deal was struck to buy the Oakwood property, and it’s been a good move for J.W. Truck Sales.
In addition to high visibility, the business could beef up its inventory.
“We’re already seeing a change in the type of customer we’re getting here as opposed to (Sugar Hill),” where much of the traffic was internet-driven, Hollis said.
“People are just stopping and checking us out, looking for trucks,” he said. “The walk-in traffic is better.”
The company sells pre-owned, mostly commercially used trucks and equipment.
“We have about every flavor of flatbed, dump trucks, service bodies, boom trucks, bucket trucks, diggers and cargo vans,” Hollis said.
Adam Laguna of Kennesaw was at the dealership Tuesday buying a 2014 Dodge Ram 2500 truck for his concrete business. The main things he was looking for in a truck: gas economy, four doors and a heavy-duty build.
He said he found out about the business on CarGurus.com and made the trip with his family. The experience went well, Laguna said.
The new business drew a little chatter at the Oakwood Planning Commission meeting Monday night. Members said they were pleased the site had finally been filled, and City Manager Stan Brown said he sees J.W. Truck Sales as being “a good community partner.”
The business is also excited about its new location. Hollis also has taken notice of surrounding growth, which was a familiar site in Sugar Hill.
“I hope businesses like ours will come in and help fuel that (growth),” he said.