DOWNEY -- On a 4-1 vote, Downey city council members Tuesday night approved loaning Downey Nissan $1.25 million so it can build a new larger facility at the corner of Firestone Boulevard and Old River School Road.
The council also authorized a $1 million grant application through the Community Development Block Grant program that, If successful, would push the total amount of public assistance to Downey Nissan to $2.25 million.
The $1.25 million loan will be repaid to the city over 12 years.
Dealership owner Tim Hutcherson said Downey Nissan has outgrown its current location at 7559 Firestone Blvd. The new location will more than double the car lot's size, with a larger service area, more room for vehicle displays, and modern accommodations.
Hutcherson said he also anticipates doubling his staff to about 160 employees.
The city's loan is secured by the current Nissan dealership property, which will be held as collateral and secured by a promissory note and deed of trust.
Mayor Luis Marquez and Councilman Roger Brossmer called the loan "a no-brainer" and a way to keep a tax-generating car dealership from fleeing the city. City officials had hinted that losing Downey Nissan was a possibility without financial support from Downey.
Mayor Pro Tem Alex Saab called the deal "a smart investment as a community." Councilman Sean Ashton cast the lone dissenting vote.
Construction of the new dealership is expected to start before the end of this calendar year and conclude in 2016.