Longo Toyota of Prosper broke ground of Prosper’s first car dealership on the afternoon of Tuesday, March 21 at the site of the new dealership, at 2100 W. University Drive.

A press release said this event marked Penske Motor Group ‘s expansion into the Dallas market. Guests who attended the event had the opportunity to sign the first steel beam being placed in the Longo Toyota of Prosper building.

During the ceremony, Gulf States Toyota, Toyota Motor North America and Penske Motor Group executives, as well as Prosper elected officials were on hand to participate in the day’s festivities. Special guests in attendance for the event included Chairman & CEO of Penske Corporation Roger Penske; President of Toyota Motor Sales, USA Bob Carter, Group Vice-President and General Manager of the Toyota Division Jack Hollis and Group Vice-President at Toyota Financial Services Pete Carey. Speakers included Prosper Mayor Ray Smith, Gulf States Toyota President Jeff Parent, Senior Vice-President at Toyota Motor North America Bill Fay, Penske Motor Group Chairman and CEO Greg Penske, and Longo Toyota of Prosper Vice President and General Manager Kara Brinley.

“We are excited to see the growth the communities in North Dallas are currently experiencing and proud to be the first dealership in the Town of Prosper to serve this expanding population,” Parent said in a press release. “It’s very evident that Penske Motor Group is already a strong partner within the Toyota family, and we have no doubt Kara and her team will continue the proud tradition of providing the level of experience and service Toyota customers demand.”

The new 61,000-square-foot facility sits on 15 acres and is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2017. The building will be LEED certified and will also feature an expansive showroom and guest lounge, an express service facility, a truck customization center and a wellness program for its team members. Designed with the guest in mind, the dealership will provide convenience to Toyota owners in the Frisco and Prosper areas who currently drive long distances to acquire a vehicle or have their vehicles serviced, giving them a closer, more convenient option for their vehicle needs.

“We look forward to the opportunity of serving the Town of Prosper and the communities of North Dallas, bringing our long-standing philosophy of great guest service to this area,” Penske said in a press release. “We are also grateful for the long-term partnership we have with Toyota and Gulf States Toyota and look forward to working alongside the other Toyota dealers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to proudly represent the Toyota brand.”

A press release said Longo Toyota in California is not only the No. 1 Toyota dealership in the world, but also the No. 1 seller of Hybrid Electric Vehicles and will bring that knowledge and expertise to the Prosper market.

To ensure the dealership is meeting guest demand and creating the best guest experience, Longo Toyota of Prosper will hire nearly 70 team members from the Prosper area before it opens this fall.

Other local economic contributions include partnering with a local general contractor, Crossland Construction, and subcontractors, as well as the use of local vendors and business partners for lighting, security and service equipment.

Although Longo Toyota of Prosper is Penske Motor Group’s first retail automotive dealership in Texas, the Penske family of companies is no stranger to the Dallas market. Through its affiliates — Penske Truck Leasing, Premier Truck Group, and Team Penske Racing — the Penske family of companies has more than 1,100 team members and business partners in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area.

The name Longo comes from the original owner of Longo Toyota — Mr. Dominic Longo — who passed away in 1985. The Penske family purchased the dealership from the Longo family that year and has owned it ever since while retaining the Longo name. Longo Toyota has sold more than 593,000 vehicles during the time the Penske family has owned it.