by: RITA A. LEONARD - Les Schwab Store Manager Jenny McCool assists a customer at the service counter of the new Sellwood store.A new Les Schwab Tire Center recently opened at 2500 S.E. Tacoma Street, at the Tacoma Street exit from southbound McLoughlin Boulevard, a block south of Westmoreland Park. In time for winter weatherizing, the company offers the same seasonal products and services for vehicles that it has for the past 60 years at other Southeast locations, such as on Powell Boulevard east of 39th (Chavez).

The newly-constructed Sellwood 9,400-sq.-ft business advertises alignments, brake jobs, wheels, chains, automotive parts, wiper blades, and car care products, as well as the tires for which the Bend-based company is famous. It is ranked one of the leading independent tire dealers in the United States.

Customers of the new Sellwood facility can wait in a lounge while technicians repair, change, or rotate tires, replace batteries, and perform similar services. The lounge is equipped with free popcorn, Kobos coffee, wifi, and television. There is also a large viewing window to allow customers to watch the progress on their vehicles in the adjacent bays. A large community bulletin board is posted next to the viewing window.

Store Manager Jenny McCool believes the location is just right for serving the Sellwood-Westmoreland, Eastmoreland, and Ardenwald neighborhoods, as well as commuters passing by on McLoughlin Boulevard, and traveling to and from the Sellwood Bridge.

Although the business is tucked just north of the Tacoma/Tenino overpass, McCool says, “We’ve been busy since we had our Grand Opening in mid-September. People are able to find us here, and there’s plenty of parking. Our site offers convenience and important services for the growing neighborhood population.”

Some dozen service technicians on the staff help with the products and services. A new feature of the Sellwood building is its use of “green” design elements, incorporating efficient energy, ventilation and lighting systems. McCool says this is the prototype design for all future Les Schwab company stores. Similar branches are currently being built in Denver and Fresno. The entrance and service bays are turned towards the overpass, to shield neighbors from noise, and the area is landscaped.

McCool says she is pleased that the company has relocated experienced staff from other sites to the new store, as well as adding new hires. “It means that our staff is experienced and well-trained,” she explains. “We’re open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 6 pm, and Saturdays from 8 to 5.” The telephone number is 503/235-0017.

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