Pleasanton planners OK CarMax Auto Superstore in Staples Ranch

Country's largest retailer of used cars will open at I-580, El Charro Road crossing

The Pleasanton Planning Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to approve plans by CarMax, Inc., the country's largest retailer of used cars, to build a regional auto "Superstore" on a 20-acre site at I-580 and El Charro Road on Pleasanton's far northeast side.

The pre-owned car dealership will include three main single-story buildings with heights of up to 24 feet, including a main 13,064-square-foot "sales and presentation" building facing the 580 freeway.

A larger 45,000-square-foot service building will be located farther south, with other buildings, including a non-public car wash, to be built between the freeway and Stoneridge Drive, where the main entry to CarMax will be located.

Keith Henderson, the company's real estate representative from its headquarters in Richmond, Va., told members of the city's Planning Commission that CarMax will occupy 20 of the 37 acres corner of Staples Ranch, already zoned for auto dealerships, leaving two other parcels available for new car dealerships in the future.

At one time, the Hendrick Automotive Group had planned to develop the entire auto mall site, but backed off as the recession hit and chose instead to expand its existing facilities in Pleasanton just off Santa Rita Road.

Henderson said CarMax has grown to over 100 locations since opening its first outlet in 1993 and has sold more than 4 million cars since then.

"Last year we sold 450,000 vehicles at our 130 stores in 55 markets across the country," Henderson said. "Pleasanton will be one of our first stores in the Bay Area."

He said the company prides itself on a hassle-free relationship with its customers where sales representatives do not haggle on prices. What the price shows on the car is what CarMax sells it for.

CarMax also plans to erect at 45-foot tall pylon sign at the edge of I-580 with a 20-foot wide illuminated sign in the company's gold, white and blue colors. Ground-level monument signs will be located at other parts of the site.

Henderson said the Pleasanton site will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday with limited hours on Sunday. The service areas will operate from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

CarMax operates differently from traditional car dealerships in that it separates its inventory area from customer and employee parking areas. This is both for loss prevention control as well as operational efficiency and safety, Henderson explained.

Also, CarMax does not use outdoor loudspeakers as sales associates carry pagers and cell phones for communications. In addition , the company does not use flags, balloons, inflatable gorillas or any other animal, placards in open car hoods, painted window lettering or other similar marketing techniques.

CarMax's planned unit development proposal now goes to the City Council, probably in May, for final consideration.


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Posted by Earl
a resident of Castlewood
on Apr 11, 2014 at 7:09 pm

Right next to Stoneridge Creek retirement community. Stock value just dropped a lot (yes, as in car "lot"). What about services for residents? Where is the "planning"in all of this?

Like this comment
Posted by Mac
a resident of Castlewood Heights
on Apr 11, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Just when you thought I-580 couldn't get any uglier.

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Posted by Beemer
a resident of Canyon Oaks
on Apr 11, 2014 at 9:54 pm

This is another attempt to make Pleasanton look like Dublin, only they are better at it.

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Posted by common sense -not
a resident of Mission Park
on Apr 11, 2014 at 10:55 pm

Earl, only complete idiots would place a gigantic retail car sales lot next to a residential senior citizen community. Sounds like the work of city hall management to me.

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Apr 12, 2014 at 9:40 am

The photo reminds me of the Little House on the Perry! WAAAAAAAAAy cute!!!

How come soooooo many posters in Plutonia have such an attitude about the value of their property? I don't get it? Just because you are able to entertain a distortion of your property's value yesterday doesn't mean that the value of your property won't fluctuate...duh...

Pleeeeeze esplain your concerns to me. Gracias! I do my very best to be understanding...tee hee

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Apr 12, 2014 at 9:44 am

maybe what's happening is just another form of Wall Street moving in on your motto is share 'n share alike...all is well on the western front...i rest my case...

Like this comment
Posted by Eric
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 13, 2014 at 9:39 am

Great, more light pollution to the north. Used to be able to see the sky full of stars and watch satellites go by out here in the valley at night. As time goes by the sky out here looks more and more like bayside. In a few years you'll only be able to see Polaris and maybe the Big Dipper.

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Posted by willie
a resident of Val Vista
on Apr 14, 2014 at 12:34 pm

get used to this type of development folks ,its all about tax revenues-city council has to have money to give to all the special interest groups that line up at the council meetings,with their hands out.Traffic for senior development--thats laughable.Come to Val Vista and see what the planning commision did for Payne road during 7 days a we3ek of soccer mess.Get used to this folks your all gonna get some of this.

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Posted by local
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 14, 2014 at 1:41 pm

That spot was initially zoned for an auto dealership at the time the senior housing came to the city. Hendrick auto at that time wanted to move to that spot (they have since changed their plans). My guess is that if Henrick at the time was not looking at that parcel that the whole development plan for that area would not have been submitted and/or approved at that time. The reason, the auto dealerships bring in a lot of tax revenue to cities.

So what is the difference between the auto dealership what was proposed at the time the senior development was proposed, and the used car dealership that has just been approved? I must be missing something as I do not see a difference in impacts to the community.

Like this comment
Posted by P-Town Pride
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2014 at 8:44 am

It’s practically in Livermore so the good news is Pleasanton will get the revenue if they built it a little further east we would have got all the traffic and none of the revenue. My question is why is the City council jumping on the bandwagon and copping all the negative thing are that our neighboring citys are doing like car lots and strip malls instead of following the positive trends like improving the downtown. Livmore and Danville are trending forward and we continue to let ours stagnate.

Like this comment
Posted by Hal
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 15, 2014 at 9:01 am

Hey Cholo---The reason we here in "Plutonia" pay attention and worry about our property values is to keep us from turning into Livermore.......

Like this comment
Posted by Payola Galore
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2014 at 9:44 am

It IS all about money, folks -- as in members of the City Council lining their wallets, patting their retirement plans, and other miscellaneous payola.

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Posted by Bill
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Apr 15, 2014 at 10:27 am

Good. Building permits were a cash boom for the city for 30 years. If you like the parks and other amenities in Pleasanton..well..they cost money. Auto dealerships are HUGE sources of tax income for the city. Good for Pleasanton for getting Carmax and keeping Hendrick. They are needed.

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Apr 15, 2014 at 10:28 am

that Hal sure knows how to tease a person...i rest my case...over 'n out

Like this comment
Posted by local
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 15, 2014 at 10:39 am

Bill, the sales tax and property tax revenue will be good for Pleasanton. Building permits essentially pay for the city's cost (and/or the mitigation for the impacts on the city). The problem is that the permits went way down but the cities kept the employees (and the costs associated with it).

Like this comment
Posted by Lessismore
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Apr 15, 2014 at 10:39 am

Is there any type of growth you people agree with?
That lot was planed for a car sales 6 years ago when development first started. Hendrick auto group was going put and auto mall on that site.

So a low impact business, with high tax return to the city of Pleasanton is bad. Along the freeway with limited impact to our city streets. A lot that was going to be developed any ways.

You people need to wake up. We need balanced development and this is a good move my the city.

Hey Cholo,
Please stop wasting our time

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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