Abby's Collision Center taken over by local chain
When Abbas (Abby) Nikzad decided after 35 years of fixing up cars on Multnomah Boulevard that it was time too move
on, Bret Bothwell was ready to move in.
So in early October Abby's Collision Center became Central Auto Body. The sign may look familiar to locals because
Bothwell also has collision repair shops on SW Macadam Avenue and on Capitol Highway at SW Taylors Ferry Road.
"I like the fact that Multnomah Village is in an entirely separate area from those two locations," Bothwell
explained. "Capitol Highway will draw from Tigard, Macadam will draw from Lake Oswego and Sellwood and
downtown Portland and this new location will draw from this neighborhood. All three draw from different areas."
Bothwell, who started out with a single location in John's Landing, now has opened nine Central Auto Body locations.
He had his eye on Abbys for a while. "I knew that it was for sale because Abbas and I had talked years ago. Over time I figured
out that I had filled the other shops up and if I put any more work in any of them something would suffer, either quality or the time line.
"So I realized the only way to keep up with business would be to get another location with building space and plenty of
parking and fill that up."
That's certainly what he got at 7835 SW 37th Ave. "This is a really big lot, especially for Multnomah Village," he said.
The isn't the first time Bothwell has taken over an auto body business from an owner who's retiring.
"When I bought John's Landing Auto Body the owner was retiring but he didn't want to sell to a big outfit. He wanted
a real guy in there. It was almost the same scenario with Abby's," he said.
Bothwell boasts of the expedited process for getting work done at his newest shop. Because Geico has an office on site
and there will be a full mechanical set-up, customers can get "the highest quality repairs done in the quickest
amount of time. It's super efficient," he says.
He owns and operates seven shops in the Portland area - "I just bought one in Hillsboro yesterday" - and one in Newberg
and another in Medford. He has a hundred employees. Even with his newest locations "still getting off the ground" he expects
to ring up $25 million in sales next year.
Business is good in Portland. "I like it here in Portland because there's a lot of opportunity. There's an unlimited amount
of work pretty much whatever industry you're in. We hire new people almost every week because of our growth."
There are no major changes planned for his new location near Multnomah Village. His crew filled seven dumpsters clearing out
the shop. It's got a new paint job and high tech diagnostic equipment is being installed. He plans to build an additional