Underriner Motors finishes move to West End

2014-08-08T11:54:00Z 2014-09-02T15:07:09Z Underriner Motors finishes move to West EndBy ERIK OLSON eolson@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

Underriner Motors has completed a move to the Billings West End that’s been a decade in the making.

The dealer held a grand opening Friday for its new 24,939-square-foot showroom for Hyundai, Buick and Volvo vehicles off Interstate 90 exit at Zoo Drive. The showroom is next to Underriner’s Honda dealership, which opened four years ago.

Owner Bill Underriner bought the land in the early 2000s, back when it was surrounded by undeveloped fields.

“They took a huge risk at the time … not knowing where Billings was going to go with its growth,” Billings Mayor Tom Hanel said at the grand opening.

Now, Underriner Motors is at the gateway of the bustling Shiloh Road corridor, which has a movie theater, an outdoor shopping center and the soon-to-open Scheels Sporting Goods store.

Underriner began his plans to move out of his former downtown Billings location at 1830 Fourth Ave. N. in 2010. That spot remains vacant. He had originally hoped to open the new showroom in May but said construction was delayed by the lengthy winter.

The new $5.5 million showroom has an attached service station, overhead skylights, a car wash station and outdoor waiting areas.

Underriner said he’s sad to leave his longtime downtown home, but the business needed more space to grow. The new showroom is twice the size of the downtown location and has more room to display vehicles, Underriner said.

“It was a thing we had to do,” he said.

Like the Honda showroom, the new facility also earned the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design from the U.S. Green Building Council, according to Underriner.

The dealer expects to save thousands in energy costs over the life of the building by relying mostly on natural light. It’s also more attractive to customers, especially those seeking fuel-efficient vehicles, Underriner said.

“The people like to shop at a place that is thinking about the environment,” he said.

Outside, half of the vehicles are Hyundais, with the remaining inventory split between Buick and Volvo. The new dealership has 38 employees.

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