Auto Express owner launches ‘beautification project’ to expand Hamilton business

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

An award-winning Hamilton business has an expansion project underway, which its owner calls a “beautification project.”

The Auto Express campus on both corners of Dixie Highway and straddling Bobmeyer Road is improving its southern corner lot and a parcel it received from the city of Hamilton in 2020.

“This is going to be more of a beautification project more than a construction project,” said owner Josh Sellers. “It’s going to make our building look better and hopefully the city of Hamilton.”

Sellers said the large building on the lot at 3000 Dixie Highway has been torn down and rubble will be removed in order to repave, landscape and improve the lot for an employee parking area. The remaining building will be regulated for storage.

The parcel that once belonged to the city of Hamilton will be paved.

The 29-spot lot will also be used for overflow inventory storage, Sellers said.

Hamilton Planning Commission approved the conditional use request on April 6, and City Council approved the request at its April 26 meeting. Planning Commission and City Council okayed the variances requested for a smaller landscape buffer along Dixie Highway, no landscaping buffer on the rear of the parcel, and vehicles can park closer to the property line along Dixie Highway.

The lot is also less than a half acre and zoning requires a full acre, though coupled with the adjacent Fairfield lot, the campus well exceeds an acre.

The building that was razed was used for the detailing service, but that work will be done on the Fairfield property.

Sellers said the project would take a few months to complete, saying the need for more parking is in part due to their staffing growth.

“We’ve grown so much that we have nowhere for our employees,” Sellers said of the expansion project.

In the past 30 months, Planning Director Liz Hayden said in a staff report, Auto Express had grown from 21 employees to 41.

Auto Express was named the 2023 Ohio Quality Dealer of the Year by the Ohio Independent Automobile Dealers Association (OIADA), which is primarily for Sellers’ work with the community, such as food drives and coat drives. Just a few days ago, Sellers said they got a delivery of 1,000 backpacks they’ll give out to the community this summer.

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