Park Place Motors opens luxury showroom in Bellevue
Dec 13, 2016, 8:22am By Patti Payne
Park Place Motors just moved. This auto dealership that carries millions of dollars of new and pre-owned luxury, exotic, sports and collectible cars had been on N.E. 20th in Bellevue since 1989 when it moved there from Central Way in Kirkland.
"Sound Transit took our old location by eminent domain," says Park Place Chair, CEO and Co-Founder David Bingham."It was a shock to us, but we really had no choice. It certainly was not what we wanted to do. We were there 28 years."
But there was no sign of that angst on Saturday, Dec 10, when Park Place held its official, invite-only opening party, and more than 500 customers and friends came.
They danced among the rare cars, which were decorated with holiday bows. They sat on Santa’s lap. And they ate, and drank fine wines which were poured by Tom and Ann- Marie Hedges, who the next day, bought a white Rolls Royce for their renowned Hedges Family Estate winery at Red Mountain near Richland.
The new Park Place location is on 136 nd Place N.E. and N.E. 20 th, across the street from the old location – 50,000 square feet of undercover showroom space, and another 28,000 square feet for all the services offered including a detail department, full restoration shop, wheel repair, a service department with 15 lifts, and a custom by-hand car wash by appointment only.
"We also have one of the largest car consignment departments in the country," Bingham says. "And we are actually also one of the largest collector car dealers the country. We are franchise dealers for Aston Martin, Lotus, Superformance and Shelby cars."
With more than $15 million worth of inventory, which includes about 200 cars on hand at any one time, Park Place is constantly buying and selling. Bingham says Park Place is one of the largest consigners to Barrett-Jackson and Mecum collector car auction companies.
"We are taking 50 cars worth more than $3 million to Barrett-Jackson in January, including a 1932 Ford Roadster that cost more than $600,000 to build; a $220,000 Ford SEMA Mustang; a Z-8 BMW worth more than $200,000; a Jaguar XK 140 and 150; and a green GTO convertible that should bring a quarter of a million dollars," he says.
Bingham and his Park Place partner and co-founder Butch Bockmier are often seen on the national live-casts of those auctions. "We have cars running every day for a week and we are onstage with the cars. The cars we take to auction usually sell for more than they would on our own showroom floor. It’s an interesting fact," says Bingham.
There are no normal cars at Park Place. "No one has anything like we have," he says. "You can’t come here and buy a normal Ford or BMW. It has to be something high end and exotic."
Customers range from 16-year-old high school students whose well-heeled parents are buying them a first car, to business leaders, lots of techies, worldwide car collectors, and sports stars like some of the Seahawks. In fact they have one sales person dedicated to just handling the Hawks’ business.
The largest part of the business is one- to four-year-old used, high-end Porsches, Mercedes, Lamborghinis, Rolls-Royces, Teslas and more.
"We do $50 million worth of business a year," says Bingham. "This year we’ll have a 15 percent increase over last year." More than 70 percent of Park Place cars are sold on the Internet – buyers from all over the world including China, Japan and Europe.
Bingham says increasing numbers of women – about 15 to 20 percent of Park Place business – are buying cars for themselves, one trend he is noticing.
Bingham is proud of his sons and has dedicated a wall of displays to each of them in the new space: Chris Bingham, 45, for his car racing successes; and Chris’ twin, the late Scott "Scooter" Bingham, who won hundreds of car shows with cars he built for a variety of celebrities. "He took first place in the LA Exotic Auto Show one year," says Bingham, "the first person outside of California ever to do that."
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