DANVERS — Amid an apparent uptick in the car business, the Herb Chambers Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram dealership on Route 114 could soon be getting a whole new look and a new showroom thanks to a proposed 4,000-square-foot addition.
And at Chambers' Chevrolet and Cadillac dealerships down the road at 90 Andover St., there are plans for a new, standalone 8,500-square-foot Cadillac dealership.
"We are in the early stages" of this second project, said Wakefield attorney Ted Regnante, general counsel for Herb Chambers.
Last week, the Danvers Planning Board continued a public hearing on the Chrysler Jeep dealership project at 107 Andover St. until Jan. 10 as project proponents tweak engineering issues to meet technical requirements.
"We are completely modernizing the building," Regnante said.
The addition would fill in a jog in the front corner of the dealership and give the facility a showroom, Senior Planner Kate Day said.
"We presently do not have a showroom on the inside of the building," Regnante said. The addition would also expand the service area and improve stormwater drainage on the site. Both the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Conservation Commission have approved the plans, which will also include extensive landscaping along Route 114.
No plans have been filed for the new Herb Chambers Cadillac dealership building. Both Chambers' Cadillac and Chevrolet dealerships share the same building.
"We are going to sit down with all the various boards that have jurisdiction to get their input," Regnante said of this project.
The work at the two Herb Chambers locations may signal the car business could be in for better days, Regnante said.
Despite a lull at the start of the year, "Our sales are up substantially at both locations within the last quarter," Regnante said.
Chambers operates about 50 dealerships in New England, and they, too, are selling more cars.
"We are seeing that throughout our whole organization," Regnante said.
According to the website TrueCar.com, sales of new cars in the United States in 2011 could reach 12.8 million units, the highest level since 2008. The website forecast that Chrysler would see a 33.8 percent increase in December 2011 sales, compared with sales during the same month one year ago.
Regnante praised Danvers officials, and Day in particular, for accommodating the project and taking a pro-development attitude.
"We found the town to be extremely helpful and accommodating to us," Regnante said.
Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @DanverSalemNews.