Wolf Motors

After 45 years as a car dealership, the building that was most recently Wolf Motors is going to become something else.

It's no surprise that when a bunch of retail and commercial space opened at the corner of West Broadway and Scott Lane that there were plenty of people interested.

And while likely new tenants are lying low, two things are certain: First, the spaces will be filled soon, according to Sotheby's realtor Jay Kornoff, who is handling the property; and, second, it's going to be odd not to see a line of cars parked our front with prices and "for sale" signs on them.

The space has always been one car dealership or another. But no more.

It's been a good place for car sales people, and will be good for new tenants as well, Kornoff said this week.

"We had a lot of inquires" when the space opened with the recent move of Wolff Motors, Kornoff said. "It's a great space — it what's called a 'hard corner,' with a stop light there, and there aren't too many of those in Jackson."

Kornoff is also handling the building behind, on Scott Lane, the building many remember as the home of Delcon before it moved south of town. Kornoff said there's a tenant ready to open for business in part of that space within weeks.

That back building, built in 1979, is 12,540 square feet, much of it wide open and suited for light industrial purposes.

The dealership building in front is 15,000 square feet, with a hard wall dividing it into 6,800 square feet in front and 8,200 square feet in back. Kornoff said he had a lot of interest and expects the spaces to be rented separately — "It's real viable for two users," he said. He expects them to be in business this summer.

Kornoff isn't saying who is going into any of the spaces, both out of professional politeness and perhaps because the papers aren't signed yet. He was willing to say the businesses that will be in the buildings are "people who will move from where they are now.

"They are all existing businesses that want to relocate," Kornoff said.

They are also businesses that are known to people who live in Jackson, and not primarily to visitors.

"It's definitely all local services," he said. "I haven't talked to anyone you'd characterize was a tourist business.

"We've had negotiations with several local businesses that think relocating here would be good."

The space is going in the $13-a-foot range, Kornoff said.

Another dealer that was in the space was Cowboy Motors, and Kornoff said he thought as many as a half dozen car businesses had been in the space in the two decades he's been around. Which is no surprise, because the place was built to sell cars.

Longtime Jackson resident Tom Skeoch built the front building in 1970 as a new home for his Skeoch Motors. The back part of the structure, the original service center, was ready for use early that summer, and the front was ready for a grand opening party in September 1970.

Skeoch had been in business at the corner of West Broadway and Milward, the lot now occupied by Jackson Hole Sotheby's International Realty, coincidentally the place where Kornoff now has his desk. Between car lot and real estate shop the location was for years the home of Fred's Market.

Skeoch Motors advertised just about every week in the Jackson Hole News and the Jackson Hole Guide. The ads said, "Ford-Jeep-Mercury-Arctic Cat."

In 1970 you could buy a new Ford Maverick from Skeoch Motors for $1,995, or a new Mustang for $2,995. A tuneup cost $29.95.

Skeoch had a sale that year that offered the buyer of every new Jeep Gladiator or Torino Brougham a free 1963 Ford Wagon or a free 1963 Chevrolet Impala. They must have been sitting on the lot for a while.

Both newspapers described Skeoch's new location as being "along the highway west of Jackson."

Skeoch's competition in those days was Dave Beck's Jackson Hole Motors, a Chevrolet, Buick, Pontiac and Oldsmobile dealer that had opened the previous year, and Week's Motor Co., which sold Plymouths and International Harvester trucks. Weeks, near the Elk Horn Cafe, burned down that year.

Skeoch and later his widow, Jane, also owned another prominent piece of Jackson real estate: the corner at Broadway and Cache where Lee's Tees, Starbucks and other businesses are now located. In the 1940s and '50s the building that was there was home to a famous Jackson bar, the Log Cabin; it later was where Abi Garaman had his Ranch Shop, the stereotypical tourist shop that sold rubber tomahawks and Hong Kong-made Indian headdresses.

The whole building came down for a massive rebuild that allowed Coldwater Creek to open in the location in 1996. That store closed in 2011.

The old Skeoch Motors property, a 1.2-acre parcel on Broadway and a 0.99-acre parcel behind it, are now owned by two LLCs that share a Third Avenue address in New York City.

Kornoff said the owner is a New York commercial real estate investor who has owned vacation property in Jackson Hole for close to 30 years.

Mark Huffman edits copy and occasionally writes some, too. He's been a journalist since newspapers had typewriters and darkrooms.

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