© 2024 WGLT
A public service of Illinois State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Normal zoning board OKs O’Brien Hyundai move, new dealership

An artist's rendering of the planned Genesis auto dealership in Normal.

Following approval by the Town of Normal Zoning Board of Appeals, O’Brien Hyundai will be moving to the southwest corner of Fort Jesse Road and Veterans Parkway, and a companion dealership for Hyundai’s luxury Genesis line will be built on the lot directly to the south.

O’Brien Mitsubishi, the current occupant of 1601 Fort Jesse Road, will be trading places with O’Brien Hyundai that is currently at 600 Greenbriar Drive, next to Sam’s Club. With the move, the Fort Jesse dealership will undergo significant renovation and expansion.

Ryan Gremore, president of O’Brien Auto Team of Bloomington-Normal, said the Genesis dealership to be built at 308 Landmark Drive will be only the third of its kind in the United States.

Construction is scheduled to begin in May 2023.

“Having Normal be the home of this dealership is really exciting to us because people will have to drive here if they want to buy one. Or you have to go to Chicago. They might be building a few of them in Chicago,” Gremore said.

Gremore said he estimates a $7 million investment to renovate the Fort Jesse property and $5 million to build the new Genesis dealership, but with $37 million in Hyundai and Genesis sales last year, O’Brien expects a massive return.

With a new dealership to operate, Gremore anticipates expanding O’Brien’s workforce with six to eight new full-time employees.

The move came before the ZBA to approve The O’Brien Auto Team’s proposed variances for landscaping requirements and for a setback to accommodate a car wash to be built on the west side of the existing structure.

O’Brien has agreed to pay into Normal’s tree fund in lieu of meeting planting requirements on each property. The board approved the variances and heard no public opposition.

Philip Walker is a correspondent for WGLT. He joined the station in 2022.