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Posted: November 6, 2009 12:30 a.m.

Covington Ford not leaving or closing

No land purchase contract in place with Walgreens

File Photo/

Still in business: Despite the rumors that have been circulating, Covington Ford owner Wendell Crowe maintains that his dealership isn't going anywhere.

Rumors are swirling around town, but Covington Ford Owner Wendell Crowe wants to make sure everyone knows that his dealership is not shutting down and it’s not leaving Covington.

The rumors started because Walgreens is considering purchasing land at the corner of Elm Street and U.S. Highway 278, the current home of a vacant Shell Gas Station. The station sits on .39 acres, but according to Walgreens’ proposed site plans, a new store would need 1.8 acres. That would require Walgreens purchasing at least some of the Covington Ford property.

However, Crowe said he has not agreed to sell any land to Walgreens and no one from the company proper has contacted him in the past few months.

Before deciding whether to locate, Walgreens needed a few exemptions from Covington ordinances. The Covington Board of Zoning Appeals granted those variances at a Sept. 15 meeting.

A representative from Anchor Properties, the real estate company negotiating for Walgreens, said after the meeting that the company was moving to Covington, but had not set a construction date. The representative could not be reached Wednesday or Thursday.

Crowe said he has talked to representatives from Anchor Properties in the past, but there is no guarantee that he will sell his land. He said he has been looking for another place in Covington to relocate his dealership because the current building is old. However, he may not even be able to afford a move at this time.

"Everyone is scared to death to take a risk in this economy," he said.

Even if Crowe were to sell his land, he said it would take at least a year and a half to build a new building and move all of his cars to another location in the city.

Some people had seen Covington Ford’s low inventory and wondered if that was a sign of an upcoming closure, but Crowe said that was the result of several Cash-for-Clunkers sales.

The bottom line is that Covington Ford will be in Covington for a long time to come.

"We’ve been in business since 1941. Covington Ford is not going anywhere. We’re not going out of business and we’re not selling out," Crowe said. "Covington Ford will be here."

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