Tom Martin, owner of Sidney Body Carstar, will expand his auto repair business to Troy when Troy Carstar opens at the end of this month.
“I’ve been looking at Piqua and Troy for a few years,” Martin said recently. “Three or four years ago, I was trying to buy a business in Piqua, but that didn’t pan out.”
The $2 million investment includes a new 12,800-square-foot building at 15 N. King’s Chapel on Troy’s west end.
“Bruns Construction has done a fabulous job of building the building,” Martin said.
The new franchise will offer the same services that are available in Sidney: collision repair, auto rental through an adjacent Enterprise Rent-a-Car office and insurance claim processing.
“We fix dings, dents and scratches, as well, but we don’t restore (historic) vehicles,” Martin noted. “We try to make a negative situation into a positive one.”
The Troy facility will employ seven or eight people, some of whom are already training at Sidney Body Carstar. There are 18 employees in Sidney.
Martin does not think service to his Sidney customers will decline because of his plan to oversee both operations.
“I don’t see us missing a beat here,” he said. “These guys (the Sidney staff) are good. They’ll continue to take good care of our customers.”
The Sidney Body Shop opened in 1942. In 1978, at age 15, Martin was hired to paint the building that housed it. He was working full-time there at 16 and has never worked anywhere else since. In 2002, he purchased the business from Roy Stone. He bought a Carstar franchise in 2003 and opened the current Sidney location on Stolle Avenue in 2004.
“This is our 10th anniversary in this building,” Martin said. He plans to have a grand opening in Troy and a 10th anniversary celebration in Sidney in April or May.
Martin is well known for his support of many local causes, programs and organizations. He plans to be just as generous in Troy.
“It’s my core philosophy,” he said. “I take care of those that take care of me. I believe in giving back. It gives you a good feeling. It’s awesome. I’m just blessed that I’m able to do it.”
Weather permitting, Martin hopes to open Troy Carstar by March 31.