Ryans Virtual Design Inc. was the design architect of the newly opened Mazda dealership. The new automotive center replaces the former Nissan salesroom on the east side of Hawthorne in the city of Torrance. The hefty lot size of more than half an acre totaling more than 90,000 square feet now promotes the newly designed 22,000-square-foot sales showroom; alongside a new 16,000-square-foot service area and a 3,200-square-foot parts department warehouse.
The transformation of this aging property formerly known as a Nissan dealership included a contemporary exterior façade, newly designed open office complex reception center, sales showroom, consultation stations, parts center and café for customer’s convenience. On a second story of the building there is a new parts depot along with a new three-lane service drive.
The interior is slick and filled with natural light from the floor to ceiling glass exterior walls and glass enclosed office areas where the sales team and customers enjoy the feeling of an unencumbered space. Sales management, finance and all offices along the showroom are preferred to be open to the sales area to visually tell the customer that Mazda has “full disclosure.”
The entire exterior now boasts a fast, fun and cool look from the curb inward. Several critical elements combine to grab attention and create attraction from the street level. All customer touch-points in the facility are Mazda blue. Green and orange accents are distinctive to auto row and echo Mazda’s new fast, fun and cool image. The outdoor inventory lot also received an overhaul, complete with new energy-efficient LED lighting and drought-tolerant landscape. The overall effect of the design is fresh and appealing. The second-story parts depot presented many developmental challenges as this region is known for its sandy soil. The design required the installation of 40-foot caisson to meet seismic stability. RVD’s use of 3-D modeling assisted the local Neighborhood Council and Local Building Department Design Review Board approvals. RVD’s use of computer-generated renderings also assisted the owners and construction team to visualize the transformation prior to construction. The images allowed contractors to pre-schedule sub-trade construction and identify any transition challenges.
It seems Torrance, in South Bay, Calif., is becoming a new “automotive hub” for residents in Los Angeles County. Nearly five years after the Great Recession ravaged Hawthorne Boulevard, considered one of the nation’s prime stretches of retail real estate, automobile dealerships have led a resurgence of the busy thoroughfare by expanding, investing and creating jobs. Residents of nearby affluent coastal communities such as Manhattan Beach and Palos Verdes who frequent Torrance add to the allure. More than 70,000 cars a day clog the eight-lane highway between Sepulveda and Artesia boulevards that’s anchored by two large regional malls—the South Bay Galleria and the newly renovated Del Amo Fashion Center. Nationwide, it’s one of the most desirable stretches of retail thoroughfare. It has the traffic count and the population density businesses are looking for, with the financial ability to pay for goods. As a result, everybody wants to be on Hawthorne Boulevard.
Many new dealerships are rejuvenating this area; there are several new high-end luxury car dealerships gracing this area, including Porsche, Ferrari, Maserati and Audi. These new buildings are not the atypical styles of yesterday, as dealerships are investing in state of the art eye-catching architecture. These new luxury car dealerships are upholding the city’s intentions to attract more upscale retailers and other businesses to the mid-market district.