Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Oswald Service and Repair relocating

New construction in Idaho Falls has been so anemic that anytime a foundation gets poured I want to know what's going on. While hanging out at the Frosty Gator in May, I couldn't help but notice that something was happening where the Dick Sayer car lot had been.

It turned out to be Oswald Service and Repair, a Yellowstone Avenue standby since the early 1950s. For years, the Oswald Sinclair station was one of the few places in Idaho Falls where someone would pump your gas for you. After they stopped pumping gas in 2008, Kevin Oswald, who took over the business from his father, Blaine, chose to focus solely on repair work.

Almost right away they knew they were going to have to operate in a bigger space. The station was built in the 40s, when cars were smaller. "If we had to work on a longbed pickup in the winter, the back would be sticking out with the door open," he said.

Although he would have liked to have stayed at the corner of Constitution and Yellowstone, the lot sits over an underground parking garage, which would have presented a problem with new construction.
Oswald said he was driving to work one morning when he noticed the old Sayer lot was for sale. "A lightbulb went off over my head," he said. "We love downtown and want to stay there. And by relocating a block away we won't be dislocating customers. We have very, very loyal customers."
The new shop, scheduled to open in October, is 3,500 square feet with six bays and doors 12 feet high. "We'll be able to handle longer, taller vehicles," he said. While the garage currently employs four people, including Oswald, they could be adding a fifth, depending on how business goes in the new location.