Tesla coming to town: First W. MI center slated for Grand Rapids area

Kent County

The Tesla sales and service on 29th Street east of Breton Road in Kentwood Wednesday, March 10, 2021.

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — Tesla is setting up its first vehicle service center in West Michigan.

The company’s signs are already up at the site of the former Prestige Auto Imports, located on 29th Street SE just east of Breton Road on the border of Grand Rapids and Kentwood. The site is in the same city block as West Michigan’s first Whole Foods Market, which is under construction.

Records filed with the Kent County Register of Deeds show the landlord, Ohio-based Sean Properties Michigan, LLC, began leasing the 29th Street space to Tesla on Nov. 6 — the same day a building permit application was filed with the city.

The application called for “limited” improvements to the interior of the building “for ‘TESLA, INC.’ auto sales, delivery and vehicle service center.” Stakeholders estimated the renovations would cost about $500,000.

Until last year, consumers had to leave the state to buy and service their car or SUV from Tesla. The automaker sued Michigan in 2016 over a 2014 law that required automakers to sell through independent, franchised dealers and not directly to customers. The company claimed it was unconstitutional. In January of 2020, the state settled with Tesla, allowing the automaker to deliver, sell and service its electric vehicles in Michigan under subsidiaries, as long as the Teslas are titled in another state and then transferred to Michigan.

Tesla broke into the Michigan market with a “gallery” in the Detroit suburb of Troy. Employees were barred from talking about pricing or completing sales deals, but those restrictions were lifted under the settlement.

The car company has since added another service center on Michigan’s east side in Clarkston, its website shows.

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