Make us your home page

Bygone Jeep dealership in Plant City being demolished

PLANT CITY — B.M. "Mac" Smith Jr. said goodbye to an era this week, but without any feelings of nostalgia.

Smith watched Tuesday as demolition crews started dismantling the former Jeep dealership at Park Road and James L. Redman Parkway.

The Smith family had owned the property since 1964 and recently sold it to RaceTrac, which plans a 20-pump gas station and convenience store.

"I'm just happy to see it being put to good use," said Smith, 83, as crews tore out air ducts and ceiling tiles. The entire structure will take a week to dismantle, he said. The RaceTrac will open about four months after that.

Next door, another property owned by the Smith family was sold to Ditch Witch, a company that sells and leases construction equipment. Ditch Witch is remodeling the site and expects to open by Labor Day.

The Smith family has operated car dealerships in Plant City since the early 1940s. In 1964, the family opened at Park Road and James L. Redman Parkway. A Jeep dealership opened on the corner, while a Dodge, Chrysler and Plymouth dealership operated next door on Park Road. The two sites total 10 acres.

In 2001, Smith retired and the family leased the sites. The dealerships closed in early 2010.

Rich Shopes can be reached at or (813) 661-2454.

Bygone Jeep dealership in Plant City being demolished 08/16/12 [Last modified: Thursday, August 16, 2012 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Hyde Park Village awaits two new clothing stores


    TAMPA — Two new retailers, Social Status and Boho Hunter, are scheduled to open in Hyde Park Village this fall.

    Pictured is the exterior of Goody Goody, located in Tampa's Hyde Park Village.
[Times file photo]
  2. Sears closing another 20 stores


    NEW YORK — Sears is closing another 20 stores as the ailing retailer tries to turn around its business.

    In a government filing Friday, real estate investment trust Seritage confirmed that Sears Holdings Corp. is closing another 20 stores, two of which are Kmart stores.
[AP file photo]
  3. Exploratory Lab Boot Camp provides real-life technology training to students


    CLEARWATER — At this graduation ceremony featuring some of the brightest local minds in tech, it was the youngsters who stood out.

    Laszlo Leedy, 17, a senior at Shorecrest Prep, presents part of his team's project for SPC's Exploratory Lab Boot Camp. Students presented their ideas at the end of the SPC Exploratory Lab Boot Camp. The program provides real-time business training to students. This year's graduation celebrated 15 students that finished the program. 
[JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
  4. Appointments at the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay and World of Beer highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers



    Tampa Bay Watch, Inc., a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the marine and wetland environments of the Tampa Bay estuary, has announced two new employees. Pamela Arbisi is the new development director. Her responsibilities include …

    Scott Bendert has joined the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay as the non-profit organization's Chief Financial Officer. [Company handout]
  5. Tampa's Homeowners Choice seeks to offer flood insurance in other states


    Tampa-based insurance company HCI Group Inc.'s subsidiaries are trying to expand their flood insurance offerings beyond Florida. HCI has filed with regulators to offer flood coverage in Arkansas, California, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas.

    Tampa-based HCI Group is trying to expand its flood insurance offerings to other states. Pictured is Paresh Patel, CEO of HCI Group. | [Courtesy of HCI Group]