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Santa Barbara Volkswagen leaving longtime downtown site

The Santa Barbara Volkswagen Dealership is leaving the current longtime location on Chapala Street, and the future of the VW name in Santa Barbara is uncertain.

The Radius Group has just installed a “For Lease” sign at the site where the street crosses Ortega Street.

Owner Kevin Eckhart, who has been in charge for about two decades, has not made a comment about the change.

The dealership has been at the site since 1958 and in the early days also sold Porsche. Over the years, Peugeot, Renault and Mazda brands were also sold. The Van Wyk family owned the dealership until 1989.

Gene Deering with Radius Group Commercial Real Estate told NewsChannel 3 the location has the potential for another car dealer, an office building and retail. He says it is a “prime corner” in downtown Santa Barbara, with good exposure, parking and lighting. Up to 13,500 square feet are available as part of a lease agreement.

The lot remains open and all operations are taking place, with no official date for a change at that site announced at this time.

It remains unclear if Volkswagen is moving to another site for sales, or leaving the Santa Barbara market.

No other details are available at this time.

{please check back for more information as it becomes available}

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