Scoop: Iconic Tripp’s plans to expand and share Liberty Motors site in Grass Valley

269722_166328103436578_793864_nTripp’s Auto Body has been serving Grass Valley since 1954. It epitomizes the family owned business that is the lifeblood of our local economy and is legendary for “giving back” to the community.

Now three generations and over 60 years later, Tripp’s plans to take the next step to a larger facility — the Liberty Motors site on Freeman Lane — from a few downtown locations, Sierra Foothills Report has learned. Tripp’s home has been at 127 Stewart Street, and it has expanded on East Main St. over the years.

“We are in escrow with 600 Freeman Lane (Liberty Motors) and are looking to move our entire facility under one roof,” Darrol Tripp and his nephew Todd Tripp wrote in a letter to the City of Grass Valley this month, which I reviewed. Darrol’s dad Arlie opened the body shop, which has grown to over 15 employees.

Tripp’s is proposing a leaseback to Liberty Motors with the used car dealership utilizing a portion of the property — “thus ensuring continued Liberty Motors jobs and tax revenue to the city from car sales,” the Tripps wrote. The plan calls for a portable office to the south side of the property for continued car sales.

“With this move, we are looking forward to creating more jobs and having continued growth with the support of our community,” they concluded.

The City of Grass Valley planning commission is due to address the proposal on May 17. I’m optimistic it will pass — being a “win-win” proposition for Tripp’s and the City.

Though it would be ideal to have two car new car dealerships at Liberty Motors and the former Weaver Auto site — as once was the case — this plan allows Tripp’s to continue expanding. Last November, Chris’ Collision was sold to Caliber, a Texas-based chain of auto body shops, at the former Weaver site.

(Photo: Tripp’s)

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

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