Ground has been broken on a new, $9 million car dealership that will be situated along Highway 77 in Calallen.

City of Corpus Christi and Nueces County officials gathered with friends and colleagues of Mike Shaw, a native South Texan, to celebrate the Oct. 24 groundbreaking of the Toyota dealership that will bear Shaw's name.

"We are excited to be back in Corpus Christi with our old friends and the community," Shaw said. "We are going to work hard for you."

Mayor Henry Garrett said he was excited about Shaw returning to the area after leaving the city about 18 years ago.

"This is really an exciting time for this entire area. Mike's a proven businessman and he's always been about the community," Garrett said.

The mayor also shared a story about Shaw from Garrett's tenure as chief of police of the Corpus Christi Police Department during which police asked Shaw to loan the department cars to use for undercover drug operations.

"I was afraid we were going to wreck one and I'd have to go back to Mike," Garrett said. "During my years as police chief, I got to know Mike very well."

According to an economic study done by Jim Lee, an economics professor at Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi, the new dealership is expected to generate more than $13 million in positive economic impact annually to the area and create the equivalent of 160 full-time jobs during the project's construction.

There will be about 60 to 70 full-time positions once the dealership opens, Shaw said, which will operate with a projected annual budget of about $7 million.

Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce executive director Terry Carter said those numbers show just how much of an investment the new dealership is in the area.

"It says a lot about our city that you're willing to make this commitment," Carter said.

The dealership is being constructed by Teal Construction, a Corpus Christi-owned general contractor, and is scheduled for completion by May 2008.