BOSTON — Boston Volvo Cars, part of Ray Ciccolo’s Village Automotive Group, has moved to a new state-of-the-art dealership showroom located adjacent to its previous home. The dealership held a grand opening last Thursday to commemorate its new location.
In a unique vertical showroom design, the new store utilizes three floors of the building, occupying 42,000 of the total 71,300 square feet. A service intake area is located on the basement level and can be accessed through the rear of the building, while the main showroom is located at street level with additional showroom space on the second level. The vehicle service area remains at the previous location.
In the early 20th century, this Allston area was known as Boston’s Auto-Mile, or “Truck Mile” to some, as International Harvester manufactured trucks and other machinery. Boston Volvo Cars’ move returns the historic commercial building to its original use as an automobile showroom. The stately brick building was built in 1925 and served as headquarters for International Harvester and New Balance in the following decades. As Boston Volvo’s new home, the building underwent an adaptive-reuse project to preserve its red brick façade with architectural details of its original 20th-century commercial character.
“In 1963, our original Volvo showroom was bare-bones and simple. Just as 21st century Volvos have transformed from solid and boxy to sleek and stylish, so has their flagship home in Boston,” said Ray Ciccolo, president and founder of Village Automotive Group. “We wanted to create an interior that combines beautiful Swedish simplicity with unique functionality. While our home has changed, you can still expect the same family-owned dealership and service.”
Boston Volvo Cars’ new facility will accommodate changes in the automotive industry and provide customers with better access and flow for more convenience, including updated amenities in customer waiting areas. Village Automotive has been implementing green initiatives at many of their dealerships, and the new Boston Volvo Cars store is no exception with 285 solar panels, seven EV charging stations, high-efficiency windows, and sustainable building products.
Village Automotive Group worked with Boston’s Arrowstreet and CM&B of Danvers, Mass., for the store’s architectural needs and construction, respectively. This project demonstrates how a long under-utilized, but architecturally and historically significant building can be rehabilitated in a sensitive manner.