Commuters driving in either direction on Route 355 at the intersection of King Farm Boulevard and Frederick Road will notice something drastically different. The Reed Brothers Dodge dealership is gone. Two large backhoes started demolishing the dealership building on Thursday, May 16, 2013 to make way for a mixed use development. When the state widened the roads in 1970, Reed Brothers Dodge relocated from its original facility at the intersection of Veirs Mill Road and Rockville Pike (now Veterans Park) to a new 26,000 square foot showroom and Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep service complex located at 15955 Frederick Road in Rockville, Maryland. Reed Brothers Dodge stood at this location for more than 40 years.
A business landmark in Rockville since 1915, Reed Brothers Dodge was one of the 15 dealerships in Maryland and 789 dealerships nationwide notified by Chrysler that their franchise agreement would not be renewed. During this time when many car dealers had to close their doors, Reed Brothers drew on its traditions, got creative, and managed to come up with the right stuff to survive. The signs that stood outside on Rockville Pike still said Reed Brothers Dodge, but inside, a new business was forming: Reed Brothers Automotive. Reed Brothers changed its name from Reed Brothers Dodge to Reed Brothers Automotive, and continued on as a used car dealer and repair shop until May 2012.
Below are some Google street views taken April 2012 of Reed Brothers just before closing. (click on images to enlarge)
The owners of Reed Brothers Automotive made maximum use of all available space both inside and out. Approximately 250 spaces on the left side of the dealership were leased to a rental car agency for their vehicle storage; 40+ spaces on the opposite side were leased to CARMAX employees; and the back lot was converted into exclusive, reserved metro parking. July 25, 2009 press release excerpt:
Park and walk to the Shady Grove Metro with metro parking packages from Reed Brothers Automotive, including special packages and car care discounts with their reserved, numbered parking program.
Tired of looking for a parking space or waiting to get in and out of the Shady Grove Metro? Take advantage of Reed Brothers Automotive’s Reserved, Numbered Parking Program. Reed Brothers Automotive is ideally located on Route 355 at the Shady Grove Metro in Rockville, Maryland (MD) making it the perfect parking location while riding the Shady Grove Metro.
Save time, money, and worry with 24/7 reserved, numbered parking in a lighted, fenced lot located directly in front of Shady Grove Metro. Sign up for the 1 Month Basic Package, the 3 Month Easy Car Care Package or the 6 Month Premium Car Care Package.
After almost a century of serving Rockville – and four years after Chrysler terminated the Reed Brothers Dodge franchise – the dealership was demolished on Thursday, May 16, 2013.
A long time landmark in Rockville is coming down, and by sheer luck, I was there to photograph it. Two large excavators started demolishing the dealership building on Thursday, May 16, 2013. The site was sold to Bainbridge Shady Grove, LLC whose plans include constructing a $90M project to include a 6-story residential building with 417 multi-family units and a 517 space parking structure.
Seldom do automobile dealerships and their sprawling lots have such a positive impact on the landscape, but this one will be different. Different enough that The Bainbridge Developers will be incorporating Reed Brothers Dodge history into the design of their new apartment complex. “I look forward to working with you on this exciting project,” said Josh Wooldridge, Senior Development Director for The Bainbridge Companies. “It means a lot that you are willing to collaborate with us. I think we have a great opportunity to do something really special that will celebrate your family’s history with the site.”
It was a bittersweet moment for me to stand there and watch as workers tore down what had been my family’s livelihood for 97 years. As part of the third generation of the family, we leave behind us many good memories and a true legacy for the people in our company, the community, and our family.
It’s time for another chapter in Reed Brothers Dodge history.