The doors are officially open at the largest office development in Gaston County history.
On Thursday, phones were ringing in the customer call center and the smell of shrimp from a low-country boil in the commissary wafted through the air during the ribbon cutting of the new Sonic Automotive and EchoPark Automotive Guest Experience Center in Lowell. Leaders from the Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce and the county’s municipalities joined in the celebration.
Located at the corner of Main Street and I-85, the center represents an $11.2 million investment for land improvements, machinery and equipment in the area over the next five years.
The hiring process began in January and the center is expected to eventually create some 500 new employment opportunities for customer support agents, managers and marketing personnel. The jobs are expected to pay annual salaries averaging about $53,000 — about $15,000 above the county’s average annual wage.
Sonic Automotive is among the largest automotive retailers nationwide. Its dealerships provide comprehensive services, including sales of new and used vehicles, vehicle service and the ability for customers to sell used vehicles to Sonic and EchoPark Automotive stores.