Huggins Honda starts expansion on new facility in North Richland Hills

Posted Monday, May. 20, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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It’s never easy dealing with a highway expansion in your front yard, but the folks at Huggins Honda can now at least look forward to some of their own construction.

The North Richland Hills dealership broke ground last week on what general manager Ronnie Vaughan says will be at least a year-long project to expand into the largest Honda franchise in the Metroplex.

When the expansion of Northeast Loop 820 was announced more than a decade ago, it was clear the dealership would lose some of its frontage, he said. Planning to accommodate the changes started then.

“We bought about 34 homes behind us, and now we broke ground on the new store,” Vaughan told us last week. The property will go from about 5.5 acres to 14 acres with more than 100,000 square feet of space, including an expanded service department with 63 bays with lifts.

Vaughan said the project is expected to take 12 to 14 months to complete. Huggins will remain open during the construction.

Hispanic Chamber Awards

Eight Fort Worth business professionals and companies were honored during the recent Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 40th Annual Awards Gala.

Honorees were Susan K. Medina, Business Woman of the Year; Michelle Corronado, Ambassador of the Year; Deanna Garcia, Chamber Champion; Joseph Landeros, Government Advocate of the Year; Raquel Santiago, Corporate Advocate of the Year; Atmos Energy, Corporation of the Year; Jeff Fegan, Chairman’s Choice Award; and Ramiro Ramirez, Business Man of the Year.

“Hispanic small businesses are a big part of the U.S. economic engine and play an important role boosting local growth,” said Javier Palomarez, president and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, speaking at the event. “As a proud Texan, it’s great to be home, where small businesses are thriving and our chambers are uniquely positioned to provide critical services that help their members grow.”

The awards, which honor small business entrepreneurs, corporate involvement and volunteer contributions in Fort Worth and the Hispanic community, were presented May 3 at the Renaissance Worthington Hotel in downtown Fort Worth.

KLM back at DFW

Dallas/Fort Worth Airport welcomed back KLM on Friday as the Dutch carrier restarted its seasonal daily service to Amsterdam.

Flight 669 arrived at 1:37 p.m. to a traditional “shower of affection” from D/FW’s fire engines on the tarmac. The Airbus 330 has two classes of service.

“D/FW was the top service for customers worldwide for KLM,” said Jacques Malot, vice president of airport customer service in the U.S. for Air France/KLM. “Everything was telling us we had to return.”

Over 85 percent of the customers on KLM flights connect through Amsterdam on their way to other destinations in Europe, Malot said. The service is expected to last through October.

Last year, KLM’s service had load factors (percentage of seats sold) in the high 80s and low 90s, he added.

“We expect the same load factor or even more. The first flight was oversold and is arriving almost full,” Malot said.

Eventually, D/FW hopes KLM will keep its service year-round, said Luis Perez, vice president of air service development at D/FW Airport.

“Of course, it’s all based on economic factors here as well as Europe, but they seem pleased with the results,” Perez said.

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