Thursday, Feb. 28 2013 4:09PM
Cooper Auto Service is not closed.
The venerable automotive repair shop that was stationed in downtown Lee’s Summit for more than a decade moved to a new location the first week of December and the shop’s owner wants loyal customers to know not only are the garage doors to the business still ajar, but has maintained its original telephone number (816-524-8904) for service.
Cooper’s new location is 501 S.E. Oldham Parkway, an outer road near the intersection of Missouri 291 South and U.S. Highway 50 East. Parking issues downtown and optimal visibility led to the move, said owner Mike Wheeler.
“Just a more visible location for us,” Wheeler said. “It was pretty good (downtown). All the neighbors were pretty nice down there and a lot of them are still coming out here. Most of them like the building but they do miss the shopping downtown. A lot of people would drop their cars off and walk around downtown while getting service. We probably miss the close neighborhood we had down there and the old neighbors we had.”
Wheeler, who has a staff of four, added the move was cost-effective in such a way that the business now owns the building that houses the shop instead of leasing the building it used in between Third and Fourth streets and Douglas in downtown Lee’s Summit.
“The bottom line is we got an opportunity to buy this building versus leasing the property we were at,” he said.
Auto technician Charlie Jones joined Cooper Auto Service at the beginning of the year, and said things inside the new location have been so far, so good for the repairman.
“Love it,” Jones said of the building. “It’s really good. Good location. This is easier to get into (than the previous location). A lot easier.”
Andrea Wiltfang, a commercial loan assistant at Hawthorne Bank, was at Cooper Auto Service Feb. 25 obtaining an inspection for a vehicle from the bank’s fleet. Wiltfang actually assisted the loan officer who brokered the deal between Wheeler and the bank to secure the existing building.
“I know that Cooper’s – as long as I can remember – has been in downtown Lee’s Summit,” she said. “Everybody knows who Cooper’s is in downtown Lee’s Summit. I think they will have a better parking situation out here. I had actually been in the building before they moved out here. It looks like they have a good, broad space in here. There seems to be a lot of automotive sales and repairs going on here on this outer road, so it’s kind of becoming the part of town that you can associated with looking for a place to get your car fixed.”