Nation’s largest used car dealer starts work on Lynnwood lot

Publicly traded CarMax is building one of its first used car dealerships in the Puget Sound region in Lynnwood. The lot is expected to include 580 parking stalls, including 402 for sales. (Jim Davis / HBJ)

LYNNWOOD — Construction is under way on a CarMax dealership along Highway 99.

The publicly traded company bills itself as the nation’s largest used auto dealership. It’s big enough to rank on the Fortune 500 list of wealthiest U.S. companies.

Work started last month on the 9-acre site of the former Detroit Autoworks property along Highway 99 at 212th Street SW. The project is expected to be finished in March.

Sierra Construction of Woodinville is the general contactor.

Plans call for a 19,277-square-foot, single-story building and a 926-square-foot car wash. The lot will include 580 parking stalls, 402 for sales and 178 for customers and employees.

The site will also include three-quarters of an acre landscaped retention pond.

CarMax earlier said that new dealerships typically cost between $10 million to $25 million.

This and another dealership being built in Puyallup are the company’s first foray into the Puget Sound area. The only other CarMax dealership in the state opened two years ago in Spokane Valley.

CarMax, based in Richmond, Virginia, has about 50,000 vehicles at its more than 150 stores nationwide. It’s growing by about 13 to 16 stores a year.

CarMax was started in the early 1990s by Circuit City executives who were looking to create a national retail chain without a national competitor, according to the CarMax website.

Circuit City, which went out of business in 2009, invested $50 million into the CarMax concept. The company sold its first car, a 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee in 1993.

CarMax became its own company in 1997 and is traded under the ticker symbol KMX.

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