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King of Cars coming to Morgan Hill

February 7, 2018

From: The Morgan Hill Times

 

When Morgan Hill Jeep Dodge Ram and Fiat opens, expect the dealership to showcase the same sort of flash and showmanship as owner and reality TV star Josh Towbin. It wasn’t the glitzy showmanship of San Francisco or San Jose that brought the new dealership here, but the charm of Morgan Hill itself that enchanted Towbin to expand his brand into California.

 

The tax breaks help too.

 

“A good friend of mine who owns a Chrysler dealership in the area told me about Morgan Hill,” Towbin said. “I was up at a NADA conference in San Francisco, so I decided to take a look. I just fell in love with the place. It’s beautiful and I love the feel of it. It reminds me of where I grew up in New Jersey.”

 

Last year in January, the Morgan Hill City Council jumped at the chance to lure the “King of Cars” star to the South Valley. The council voted unanimously to offer a 10-year tax rebate worth up to $780,000 to make the deal a reality.  As part of the city’s “Auto Dealer Economic Development Strategy,” the rebate will offset the cost of impact fees, mitigation, habitat conservation fees and offsite improvements. Towbin will ultimately spend $14 million to develop the six-acre property on Condit Road.

 

“The city waived some of the impact fees and it was pretty significant,” Towbin said. “It’s my understanding that what fees they waived will be paid back through our sales. It’s incentive-based and I think it’s identical to what the Ford Store and Honda of Morgan Hill receive.”

 

To achieve the aesthetic and appeal that Towbin is seeking, he has hired architect John Mahoney, who specializes in designing car dealerships and contractor Boyd Martin Construction out of Las Vegas to make Towbin’s design dreams a reality. With extra attention for design flair, the project will take considerable time to complete and Towbin is not sure when the dealership will be open.

 

“I want it to be unique and to have a special feel,” Towbin said. “I love the energy of the Apple Store. My dream is for it to have a lot of energy and that you’ll feel that when you walk into the dealership. You’ll see everyone when you walk in from the sales staff to the repair department and all in between. I’ve improved on a few things for the building and we are making progress, but I don’t have an exact date when we will open.”

 

Towbin also owns Morgan Hill Real Estate LLC, which owns the property. He said he made his decision based on the robust economic health of the Bay Area, which he described as, “booming.”

 

“We’ve been a very healthy company for a long time, and I’m very conservative about how we grow,” Towbin said. “Instead of opening dealerships all over the place, I would rather be a few places that work very well. The market here is great and I don’t see that changing.”

 

Having a successful chain of dealerships in Vegas has allowed Towbin to sell cars to Nick Carter, Mariah Carey, Dr. Phil and Shaq. Of all the heavy hitting celebrities Towbin has rubbed shoulders with, none hit as hard as “Iron” Mike Tyson.

 

“I was organizing a charity for a young man with a terminal condition and when I called Mike, I couldn’t even finish my sentence before he said yes,” Towbin said. “People think of him in a certain way, but Mike has a big heart.”

 

Towbin, also known as “Chop,” starred on A&E's “King of Cars” for two seasons from 2006 to 2007. His life as a car dealer/performer is still up and running and his raucous, over-the-top infomercial series, “Chopper Show,” where he stars next to a blue genie, can be seen on Youtube.




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