Shammas family plans New Ford dealership in DTLA

Daughter of the man who pioneered LA car dealerships files paperwork for 10-story building

Diane Shammas and rendering of proposed Ford dealership (Pitzer College, Felix Chevrolet, Getty)
Diane Shammas and rendering of proposed Ford dealership (Pitzer College, Felix Chevrolet, Getty)

A scion of the Shammas family filed plans for a car dealership on Los Angeles’ Figueroa Corridor, which family patriarch Nickolas Shammas pioneered.

Diane Shammas of Shammas Properties submitted an application Nov. 17 with the City of Los Angeles Planning Department to build a 353,000-square-foot Ford car dealership. The proposed project will be located at 500-515 West Washington Boulevard, which is located a mile away from the family’s Felix Chevrolet car dealership. Nickolas Shammas bought Felix in1957 and used the dealership with a landmark Felix the Cat sign as a springboard to build a group of businesses in downtown Los Angeles and along the Figueroa Corridor south of downtown. The pioneering entrepreneur passed in 2003 at age 87.

The strip of land between University of Southern California and downtown Los Angeles is the address to more than six sprawling car dealerships which represent brands ranging from Porsche, Toyota, Nissan and Mercedes-Benz. A Ford dealership currently does business in a Figueroa Corridor location, based at 1929 South Figueroa Street.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

Emails and phone calls requesting comment from Shammas Properties and project representatives were not returned by press time.

Plans for the proposed dealership include a 10-story building that would focus on sales and service for Ford automobiles. The planned project will replace a parking lot and a service center.

Shammas Properties’ proposal is the latest development to change around Figueroa Corridor’s car dealerships. In August, a plan was submitted to build a Porsche dealership in the 1900 block of South Figueroa Street. It would provide more space and replace the Porsche dealership currently doing business across the street.

Read more