New building & future for west Albion

Dave Wyant, at Maple Ridge Hyundai, is expecting things to get busier. The new building is ready, and soon the old one will be torn down, improving visuals in the area. - Colleen Flanagan/The News
Dave Wyant, at Maple Ridge Hyundai, is expecting things to get busier. The new building is ready, and soon the old one will be torn down, improving visuals in the area.
— image credit: Colleen Flanagan/The News

It's had the corner of Tamarack Lane and Lougheed Highway all to itself for decades, seeing life first as an auto wrecking yard, then changing to its current purpose as an auto dealership.

Maple Ridge Hyundai is an island of automotive in a sea of green, surrounded by Kanaka Creek Regional Park, Rieboldt Park and Albion flats. Just for good measure, Spencer and Kanaka creeks run nearby.

Time is on the dealership's side, though, says Dave Wyant, who along with brother Vaughn, owns the dealership as part of the Vaughn Wyant Automotive Group.

Maple Ridge district wants to develop the Albion flats just to the east of the dealership, although just what form that will take remains to be seen. Whatever happens, the Lougheed corridor will change at some point.

"I think with the development that's going to be coming down here eventually, I think we'll be right in line with the growth in the community.

"If they do the Albion flats development plan, for us it's a home run."

It's just a matter of the district figuring out what actually will go into the area, he adds.

The Wyants took over the dealership in September 1994 after moving from Saskatchewan and bringing with them the expertise gained from their auto presence in that province, where the group owns Ford, Mitsubishi, Audi and Volvo dealerships in the Saskatoon area, as well as dealerships in Kelowna and Vernon.

Wyant is a well-known name in the prairie province. Dave's older brother Gordon is Minister of Justice and the Attorney General for the Province of Saskatchewan, while another brother, Raymond, is a retired chief justice in Manitoba.

Another brother, Peter, works in oil and gas technology for the Saskatchewan government.

The dealership sold Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Eagle and Plymouth products under the name Super Dave's (Golden Ears Motors) in the 1990s and 2000s, then in September 2009 switched to Hyundai. Sales have doubled since then.

"When the opportunity to nab the Hyundai franchise was available, we grabbed it. Great cars, great build, everything," Wyant said.

The Elantra was named the top Canadian and North American car for 2012.

The old name is still around, however.

The actual name of the dealership is still Super Dave's Golden Ears Motors Ltd., operating as Maple Ridge Hyundai, which allows the use of Super Dave's from time to time.

Part of the agreement when signing on with Hyundai Canada in 2009 was to put up a new building. It was the first time Hyundai allowed the completion of a new building after a dealership opened, Wyant pointed out.

Part of the building process required developing a storm-water management plan for the municipality to ensure runoff effects into the creeks are minimized. The district has helped in that process, as well as with removing the land from the Agricultural Land Reserve a few years ago.

A week ago, the new building, about 13,000 square feet, was completed and staff moved in and now are enjoying the air-conditioned accommodation.

Saying goodbye to the old building, about six decades old and which gets torn down next week, won't be a sad occasion.

"That old building wasn't the brand identification that anybody wanted," Wyant said.

"We're so happy to be out of it." In the summer, temperatures would climb to 40 C inside.

The new building has eight service bays with room for two more to accommodate the growth that's expected.

Currently, 28 people work at Maple Ridge Hyundai, although Wyant predicts that will rise to 40 or 50.

"Growing, growing, growing," he says.

The viewscape will also improve once the old building goes.

"When the old building comes down, when people drive by, they're going to see the new building, all the cars and beautiful park behind them.

"It's going to be very visually exciting."

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