Mark Wahlberg adds to his Columbus auto operations as West Side redevelopment plans continue
Actor Mark Wahlberg has bought the former Haydocy Buick GMC and Haydocy Airstream & RV on the West Side, adding to his local portfolio of auto dealerships. Meanwhile, work continues on plans to build an RV park and renovate Westland Mall in the area.
Actor Mark Wahlberg is expanding his footprint in Columbus by adding another car dealership as well as an RV dealership.
On Monday, Mark Wahlberg Buick GMC was unveiled along with Mark Wahlberg Airstream & RV.
The dealerships were formerly Haydocy Buick GMC and Haydocy Airstream & RV. The West Broad Street dealerships are across the street from Mark Wahlberg Chevrolet, which Wahlberg and his business partner, Jay Feldman, bought in 2018.
“Columbus has been so welcoming, and it just made sense to grow our automotive platform here,” Wahlberg said.
The Buick GMC dealership has been owned and operated by the Haydocy family since 1954. The deal with Wahlberg was in the works since March.
“The Haydocy family has been wonderful to work with during this transition, and Jay and I are looking forward to doing big things here on the West Side.”
Chris Haydocy said he remains as managing member of Mark Wahlberg Airstream & RV and retains a small stake in the auto dealership. He declined to talk about the sales price.
In the meantime, Haydocy said he still plans to develop an upscale RV resort near Hollywood Casino Columbus.
Haydocy now puts a $10 million price tag on the 27-acre development. The park would be called Road Adventures Resort, and would have 185 sites, a small outdoor amphitheater, a clubhouse with grab-and-go food, a fitness center and a saltwater lagoon.
Haydocy said Monday that he was close to getting financing until the coronavirus pandemic struck.
“It stopped the progress,” he said. But Haydocy remains bullish on RVs, because the industry will benefit from the pandemic, since people will still want to vacation and relax while maintaining social distancing. He is still pursing financing.
Haydocy also plans to continue to be a booster for West Side development efforts. He said the Wahlberg deal marks the 45th new business or significant business investment in the area since the casino opened in 2012.
“This is a big statement for revitalization,” Haydocy said of the Wahlberg acquisition. “Now it’s time to be able to shine a light on the potential revitalization of Westland Mall.”
The owners have contacted the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission about using part of a $600,000 U.S Environmental Protection Agency grant to assess the mall site to see if contaminants need to be cleaned up, said Thea Ewing, the commission’s director of transportation and infrastructure development. The commission will take applications this fall.
“The Wahlberg brand is so well-respected,” said Feldman. “We are anxious to do even more things in the near future together in the Columbus area. Stay tuned.”
Nationally, Wahlberg’s business interests include a movie production company, a health and wellness company, a water line and a Wahlburgers restaurant chain.
Haydocy said his family had a 66-year relationship with GMC.
“This has been the result of an ongoing 2 1/2-year conversation,” Haydocy said.
“It’s a positive win for everybody,” he said.
The three dealerships are hiring for several key sales and service positions in Columbus. For more information, visit www.markwahlbergbuickgmc.com.