The long ago gas station at 1232 Erie Ave. will be active again after decades of being closed.

Logansport resident Roberto Garcia is opening JL & Auto Sales, Venta de Autos today.

The name comes from the first names of his children, Johart, Leslie and Armando (whose initial starts “Auto”).

It’s not the first car lot there but the first in recent memory, said Bill Cuppy, Executive Director of the Logansport/Cass County Chamber of Commerce.

Garcia will be selling used cars there, buying them at the Indianapolis auction and preparing them for sale.

“He fixes them up when he buys them,” said his daughter Leslie Garcia, translating for him during parts of the interview.

There’ll be a 30-day warranty on the vehicles he sells, he said.

Garcia has been an auto mechanic for 14 years and likes selling cars. This is the first business he’s opened, though.

Since coming to Logansport 20 years ago, he has wanted to open a business here, he said.

He likes the space where his business will be — a triangular piece of ground — and has been fixing it up since the summer and getting zoning variances to be able to keep multiple vehicles on the lot.

He had to fix the roof, paint the inside and outside and put gravel on the lot to park the vehicles, among the improvements.

The business will sell solely U.S.-based cars like Ford and Chevy, he said. He’ll take orders and look for specific cars that people want when he goes to the auction but with limits.

“We’ll try to look for it once,” he said through his daughter.

The business will also handle financing the cars, and he hopes to eventually work with banks and financial institutions for lending.

Selling the cars with him will be Jonathan Cervantes, who will work more with the English-speaking customers as Garcia works with Spanish-speaking customers.

The business will work with everyone, Garcia said.

He didn’t open it just to serve the Hispanic community and doesn’t feel they’ve been underserved in cars.

As it gets bigger, he’d like to expand the lot. And he would like to follow in the footsteps of the late Mike Anderson, who started his own auto sales empire in Logansport and expanded into having many auto sales businesses in many towns.

Reach James D. Wolf Jr. at james.wolf@pharostribune.com or 574-732-5117. Twitter: @JamesDWolfJr

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