WICHITA — Almost a decade after buying property at the northeast corner of 21st and Hoover, Larry Greider is preparing to build a more than $1 million building there for a new Auto Masters Collision & Service Center.
Greider already has three body shops, a service center and two used-car lots in Wichita and Derby, where the company is based.
This will be the first time he has collision and service centers under one roof.
"I've seen our service department has grown tremendously in Derby," Greider says. "Our sales and services has just doubled in the last couple of years."
That's why he has the confidence to open a new center in a down economy.
Concerns following 9-11, among other things, kept Greider from building after he first bought the west Wichita property.
"I was just kind of scared financially of taking the risk to do it."
Greider still has concerns.
"I just actually worked and saved, and it was a big gamble to do it."
The business has grown from five employees when he bought the company in 1994 to 43 employees today, which helps his confidence level.
"Our business is running stronger right now than it ever has," Greider says. "I never dreamed of getting as big as what I did."