The University of Wyoming has decided to stop leasing a piece of property to First Choice Honda, a dealership on South 15th Street, once the current lease agreement with the vehicle retailer expires in July.
Shane Griffin, who owns dealerships elsewhere in Wyoming, created the Laramie-based dealership in 2017, after buying business assets from Spradley Barr, a Cheyenne-based dealership which previously operated a business at the UW-owned property at 2102 S. 15th St.
At September meeting of the board of trustees, Trustee John McKinley said UW will use the property for its transit and fleet vehicles.
The construction of new dormitories on the northeast edge of UW’s campus, along 15th Street, is expected to displace the university’s transit operations and storage that are currently located along 15th north of Lewis Street.
“We thought it was important for a good working relationship with (First Choice Honda), to provide as much notice as possible and not wait until the end,” McKinley said.
UW signed a two-year lease with First Choice Honda in May 2017, with the dealership paying $6,400 in monthly rent.
The two parties extended the lease agreement for another year this June.
Before Spradley Barr sold the 15th Street business to Griffin, the Cheyenne dealership had sought to remain in Laramie, with plans to move off the 15th Street property and onto a site near Laramie High School on the east side of Laramie.
However, that plan was ultimately killed by political backlash — both by advocates concerned about more development atop the Casper Aquifer’s recharge area and by school officials who didn’t want a new dealership located so close to LHS.