Frank Kent Celebrates 75th Anniversary with State of the Art New Honda Store

Frank Kent probably never imagined, when he started his first car dealership in 1935 where Billy Bob’s now stands, that 75 years later his family would be opening a 12-acre Honda dealership complete with café, customer greenspace and workout room.

But that’s what’s happening next month at 3400 W. Loop 820 South. Corrie Watson, who owns Frank Kent Motor Co. with her brother, Will Churchill, says it’s unusual for a family to continue in the automobile business for four generations. If her great-grandfather were alive today he’d be proud.

She and her brother have scrutinized every detail, making sure the dealership across the street from the old Frank Kent Honda is environmentally friendly, customer-welcoming and a centerpiece that sets the stage for future growth in West Fort Worth.

The new dealership is double the size of the previous Honda store, with 52 service bays and the first LEED-certified Honda facility in the state of Texas. “We had everything done to lessen our carbon footprint and make us a more environmentally friendly business,” says Corrie. Measures included: adding a car wash that reclaims used water and cleans it for future use; parking lights are individually controlled via a wireless system for maximum efficiency; landscaping is native to Texas for minimal water use; and bathroom faucets use their water flow to recharge their hands-free use.

The full-service café, which seats 32, will serve gluten-free and vegetarian options, as well as burgers, paninis, salads and grilled salmon. Customers also can chill with their dogs outside in a 1.5 acre green space complete with a creek, and employees have their own workout facility.
 

“We’ve had a lot of fun with this project,” Watson says. “The unfortunate part is, times are not good for everybody and we wanted to use this opportunity to create our own little stimulus for Fort Worth companies. We were able to do that by using mostly local subs to keep the money in Fort Worth. All the major players including the architect and the general contractor are Fort Worthians. It’s important to us to support the community that we live in and that has supported us for the last 75 years. If you want to see what happens when two 34-year-olds design a dealership then you gotta come see this.”

The opening date is Dec. 1. Activities surrounding the opening:

■ VIP party Dec. 3, sponsored by Katzkin and Dripping Springs Vodka.Those attending include City Councilman Zim Zimmerman, officials from the Honda national office and an official from the North Pole.

■ Family carnival Dec. 4 with Santa; a “reinsteer” (you’ll have to attend to find out what the reinsteer looks like);
and family oriented games/activities throughout the dealership.

Frank Kent Motor Co. through the years:

1935: Frank Kent opens the first store, a Ford dealership where Billy Bob’s now is located.

1953: Kent purchases a Cadillac dealership. Because at the time he was allowed to own only one, he sold the Ford business.

1988: Kent passes away, and his daughter, Wendy Kent Churchill (Watson’s mother), takes the reins.

1993: The motor company purchases the McDavid dealerships, which include GMC, Pontiac, Subaru, Honda, Lincoln-Mercury and Accura. These were later split between Watson’s parents, and some eventually were sold.

2005: Watson’s mother passes away, and she and her brother take over.

2008: Plans begin for the new Honda dealership. Frank Kent Motor Co. now owns Cadillac, Honda and Fisker.

For Additional information please contact Beth Hutson at beth@hutsoncreative.com or 817-602-0211.

The late Frank Kent, a respected leader in the automotive industry, opened Frank Kent Motor Company in 1935. Because of his commitment to quality, value and honest and reliable service the dealership grew into two thriving Fort Worth locations, Frank Kent Cadillac and Fisker located at 3800 Southwest Boulevard and Frank Kent Honda, located at 3400 W. Loop 820 South. Over the years, the dealership has received numerous awards for outstanding sales and service, including being the only dealer inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame, The Mr. Honda award and the coveted Master Dealer award from Cadillac. The family heritage continues today with the fourth generation of Kent automobile dealers, his great-grandchildren, Will Churchill and his twin sister, Corrie. Will and Corrie continue to carry on the Frank Kent legacy by remaining family-owned and operated with the same quality and values upon which the dealership was founded 75 years ago. Frank Kent has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, CNN, MSNBC and Advertising Age as an expert source in the automotive industry.

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