Vaden buys old O.C. Welch building

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By Tess Malijenovsky

After several years of vacancy, the O.C. Welch building was finally purchased last Friday, Sept. 23, by Vaden of Beaufort, the Buick, GMC and Chevrolet dealership currently located at 2811 Boundary St. Since Vaden came to Beaufort three years ago, its sales have grown tremendously. Now they plan to tear down the O.C. Welch building to bring a new “state-of-the-art” facility that will showcase Vaden’s growth and reputable customer service. “In my opinion,” said Executive Manager Shane Gault, “the community needs to be wowed by what Buick, GMC and Chevrolet is all about.”
“I think too many businesses come into the community and reap the rewards, but they don’t give back. And one of the things we want the community to know is that we understand that, and we plan on always being involved with the community. That’s part of our DNA,” boasts Gault.
One of the ways Vaden gives back to the community is with its Extra Mile Reward of $500 to teams, groups, individuals or organizations that go the “extra mile” in the community or field. Some of these groups in the past have been Habitat for Humanity, Lt. Dan Independence Fund, Help Beaufort, YMCA, Pillows for Patriots, Second Helpings, CAPA, CODA, FRIENDS of Caroline Hospice, Literacy Volunteers of the Lowcountry, Little Red Dog Foundation, Beaufort Police Movie Club, Family Promise of Beaufort County and the Boys & Girls Club of Beaufort. Vaden has also been a sponsor of military appreciation at Laurel Bay for the past three years and provided 80 vehicles to the Blue Angels Air Show last spring.
Needless to say, this dealership has its customers in mind, and its new dealership building will be modeled to better serve its customers. Future Vaden of Beaufort will have one centralized design featuring a new service department, a lounge area with Wi-Fi for customer interaction and an inside delivery area to provide customers with a comfortable, controlled environment no matter the heat or rain. Construction is pending on the design approval by General Motors and the city of Beaufort.