Prestige Automobiles will break ground in mid-2006 “or sooner ” on a new multi-million dollar complex.

The Marine Corps Drive property will allow the group to expand and place its automobile lines and related business in one facility.

Located across from Bank of Hawaii in Upper Tumon the sale on the six-acre property closed in early 2005.

John C.J. Shen general manager of Prestige told the Journal plans for development of the property were underway.

“We are in the design stage already. We hope to get the groundbreaking within six months or sooner. Right now we are working on the preliminary layout with David Tan [Architects Inc.].” The design is planned to include a two-story building with high ceilings.

Construction will occur in two phases the first of $3.5 million. “Phase II is pending depending on what we will do. It is planned for $2.5 million ” Shen said.

The new location would allow Prestige to deeply expand both its products and services Shen said.

“Under the Prestige umbrella we are going to have a multiple-product range. We will offer additional products for our customers on Guam and in addition we will offer a variety of services.”

Clients can look forward to new lines and expanded showroom space. Apart from the BMW showroom Shen said “Land Rover will have its exclusive display; the Mini will have it’s own showroom.”

The range of lines offered within the brands would grow he said. “We are expanding our product range to different price positions – therefore our market share will expand.” Shen said the reconditioned BMW models had appealed to a different group of customers. “We were able to reach those market shares we never had before.” He anticipated a new Mini line and a new Land Rover line. “The Mini will be in the $20 000-plus/-minus range; we will welcome the BMW l series in the mid-$20 000s. I believe by the time we finish the building that car will be launched. I believe we will have a more attractive price range added to our current lines.”

Based on the extended offerings Shen said he believed Prestige would expand its customer profile and market share and meet its desire to take more auto market share. “Expansion is needed for our business growth ” he said.

Shen also intends to expand on the success of the BMW pre-owned models a thriving sector since its launch in 2003 that have seen sales double on pre-owned BMW models in 2005. “We will recondition the cars also for the Land Rover program. All the pre-owned customers are happy. That definitely works well if you offer a properly reconditioned vehicle.”

The commercial property will offer additional opportunities of benefit to customers. “We will offer a variety of services for Proline Automotive operations — auto accessory parts tires and auto repair shops. That was offered before by different locations; this time we have a master plan to offer it all in one.” Proline is presently located in Harmon industrial park. “It was my original business. It will be one of the anchor tenants in the new location ” Shen said.

In addition the facility will offer refreshment and recreation opportunities.

“There will be additional space for tenants — such as fast food or an ice cream parlor or sandwiches or light snacks to serve our clients’ needs and an exclusive area for children.”

The rear of the property is being considered for an off-road track. “We are looking at the possibility. We have more than enough space at the back ” Shen said.

The company had eight employees when it began operations in 1992 and the expansion will add more employees to the current staff of about 33. “During the first year we are looking at adding at least 15 positions to manage the expansion.”

The facility’s design would be shared with corporate offices of the respective brands Shen said. “We will be discussing that with all our partners in their respective areas. For instance BMW will be assisting with layout Land Rover with layout and the off-road track and the BMW team with the Mini showroom.”

Shen called on other prominent businesspeople to follow his lead in an area that has no commercial development between Marine Corps Drive and Two Lovers Point.

“The message is ‘We are here to expand.’ We will be the first commercial facility in the vicinity.” He said the Prestige move would add value to the area. “I hope that action will encourage more investors to develop and make use of that area to boost our local economy and bring prosperity back to the way it was.”

“If we don’t expand there is no future for our people — who work hard every day here.” Shen said the Prestige employees were a key part of the dealership’s success.

Anthony R. Godwin principal broker of Today’s Realty was the Realtor acting for Prestige in the sale. The property was offered for sale in 2003 Shen said. “The land was military land returned to GovGuam and then returned to the original owner the Lujan family.”

Prestige Automobiles became the BMW importer for Guam the Northern Mariana Islands and Micronesia in November 1991 and commenced operations and after-sales on Jan. 14 1992 at the newly remodeled Harmon showroom of Shen’s Enterprises presently home to Proline. The company opened the 40 000 square-foot facility in Dededo on Dec. 2 1999 launching the Land Rover brand at the same time. The dealership has won numerous BMW awards and recognition through the years notably for highest Asia sales for its 7 series luxury model. MBJ