When I heard that Michael Moore was moving his Sportscar Workshops business from the edge of Scott’s Addition on the Boulevard to 2661 Hull Street, I couldn’t stop giving myself high fives. It was proof that a smart, entrepreneurial, business owner recognized the potential for the Hull Street corridor. The Swansboro area just west of Manchester is loaded with cool buildings that are mostly sitting vacant, or are vastly underutilized. They are just waiting for entrepreneurs who have some vision to come in and make their mark.
And when early adopters like Sportscar Workshops’ Michael Moore sets up in an area like Swansboro, it helps give a neighborhood new life. More importantly, it also turns potential into reality. The transformation of Hull Street isn’t something that might happen in the future. The positive change is happening right now. Michael Moore’s Sportscar Workshops is a concrete example of an owner operator taking the plunge.
In getting to know Michael, I couldn’t be more excited about having him as a neighbor. His desire to pitch in and lead by example is to be commended. I wanted to share Michael’s thoughts with our readers. So I sent Michael some interview questions. Here is what he had to say…
1. When was Sportscar Workshops started and what does the business do?
Sportscar Workshops has been operating since 2000. We specialize in the repair, restoration, and sale of vintage European automobiles.
2. What has been your biggest challenge as a business owner?
One of the biggest challenges I face is finding the balance between working in the business vs working on the business. I have to make the conscious decision to let someone else work on the cars so I can focus on the business as a whole.
3. Why did you decide to relocate to Hull Street?
The Hull Street corridor has so much potential and having frontage on both Hull Street and Midlothian Turnpike will be a great asset as the area develops.
4. What do you see as the biggest challenge you will face in your new location?
Having been in our current location for 17 years, it will be quite an adjustment crossing the river. We have great working relationships with several of the businesses in the area, and having to replace those will be difficult.
5. What do you see as the biggest opportunity for your business in its new location?
After seventeen years in our current location, we have learned where our inefficiencies are, and starting with a “blank slate” will give us the opportunity to tweak our shop layout and procedures. With the move, we will also now be owner occupants, which financially, is much more viable in the long term.
6. What would you like to see happen in the Swansboro/Manchester neighborhood now that you are moving your business here?
I would love to see the growth continue west and have the area reclaim its former glory. There are still empty buildings for sale, specifically near the intersection of Hull St and Midlothian Tnpk that would make great storefronts for small business owners. Long term, I think the intersection could be a great crossroads coming into the city from the Chesterfield area.
7. What do you do for fun when you aren’t repairing sportscars?
I enjoy being outdoors and spending time with family and friends. As a young entrepreneur I thoroughly enjoy looking for local investment opportunities and finding ways I can help the community.
8. Anything else you would like to share?
I’m very excited to be a part of the area as it begins to turn, and I look forward to being engaged within the community. Being at the leading edge of revitalization presents a unique opportunity to help shape the community as it grows.