Real Estate and Retail

Car superstore heads for 28th Street

April 18, 2014
TAGS CarMax
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Car superstore heads for 28th Street
CarMax operates 133 used-car superstores in 66 markets. Photo via fb.com

A national car retailer is planning to develop a large property on 28th Street.

Richmond, Va.-based CarMax, which says it’s the largest used-car retailer in the U.S., has submitted plans to the city of Kentwood to develop a 40,000-square-foot superstore on a vacant property, at 4401 28th St. SE.

The 20.5-acre property, which was formerly a Splash/AJ's Family Water Park, is behind Art Van Furniture.

Planning phase

The property is “under contract, and we are currently going through the municipal approval process on this store,” said Casey Werderan, a CarMax spokesperson.

“We have no timeline on when we expect to open the Grand Rapids store,” Werderan said.

Werderan added that the site isn’t part of the company’s grand-opening calendar through February 2015.

“We're excited about the Grand Rapids market,” Werderan said. “We are always on the look out for sites in strong retail corridors and in auto rows that can serve customers who are not currently being reached.”

The store would be the first super-sized CarMax in Michigan, said Lisa Golder, city planner, Kentwood.

Approvals

Because of the special land use, CarMax’s plan had to go before the city’s planning commission and will be decided on at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The decision made then will determine if CarMax, a Fortune 500 company, can move forward and get a building permit.

Golder said she doesn’t know of any opposition to the plan, and she thinks it seems like a “good use for that property.”

“It seems like it’s a good company,” Golder said. “When you look at the site that they’re proposing, it would be difficult for a regular retail to be there. Visibility is not great, so it has to be some kind of destination that doesn’t rely on people seeing it from that perspective.”

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