CarMax, Inc., the country's largest retailer of used cars, will open its regional auto "Superstore" on a 20-acre site at I-580 and El Charro Road in May.
Last year, Stoneridge Chrysler-Jeep moved its dealership from Dublin, where it now occupies the rest of the site that is zoned for auto dealerships.
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.
This location is the first of three announced CarMax stores opening in the Bay Area in 2016 and CarMax's 19th store in California.
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.
Keith Henderson, the company's real estate representative from its headquarters in Richmond, Va., told members of the city's Planning Commission who approved the CarMax plan two years ago that the firm has grown to over 100 locations since opening its first outlet in 1993 and has sold more than 4 million cars since then.
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.
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.
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.
Beth Singer, who heads up public affairs for CarMax, said CarMax is currently seeking employees for the new Pleasanton agency.
"We are currently hiring 50 positions for this location," she said. "Full and part-time positions are available, and positions include sales, business office, and service (detailers, experienced technicians)."
She said CarMax offers competitive pay and a comprehensive benefits package, and was recently named for the 12th year in a row one of Fortune magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For."