FITCHBURG -- A new full-service big rig dealership will open later this month, bringing new use to the former Ryder Truck Rental and Leasing building at 215 Crawford St.
“This move is allowing us to get a better reach throughout the state and better support our customers in Massachusetts,” said Matt Preston, vice president of Peterbilt New England.
The Texas-based Peterbilt Motors Company will open the new 13,000-square-foot “The Peterbilt Store,” also known as “The Pete Store” on Oct. 22, said Preston.
The store will carry and sell new and used trucks, have a “fully-stocked” parts warehouse and factory-certified technicians, according to a company press release.
The company is recruiting people to work in parts’ sales, in the warehouse and as technicians at the Fitchburg location, Preston said. So far, six of the 10 employees slated to work there have been hired.
Peterbilt, with locations from New England to Georgia, moved into the Massachusetts market two years ago, said Preston.
Also on Oct. 22, the company will open another parts-only store at 1051 East St. in Tewksbury that will carry parts from manufacturers Peterbilt, PACCAR, TRP, and All Makes.
Peterbilt is in the middle of a $15 million renovation project at its Plainville regional headquarters. Once completed in the summer of 2019, the regional headquarters will house office space, 20 service bays and a parts warehouse.
“By the end of October, we’re going to have three stores open,” said Preston.
Peterbilt currently leases the building at 215 Crawford St. from Pine Tree Reality Trust, according to Preston.
“If we purchase we’ll be looking a lot more to invest in the building and make it a lot better,” he said.
The Zoning Board of Appeals granted Peterbilt a variance to allow the company to sell trucks at 215 Crawford St., which is located in an industrial zone, according to City Councilor and Zoning Board of Appeals member Anthony Zarrella.
Zarrella said the ZBA does not grant use variances often but it agreed a big rig retailer should operate in an industrial zone.
“It makes perfect sense of course that if you’re doing sales of industrial vehicles that you’d have it in the industrial district rather than the commercial district,” he said.