Texas Construction News from Virtual Builders Exchange
by Adolfo Pesquera
San Antonio (Bexar Co.) – Carvana, the online auto sales company with the glass tower vending machine, is preparing to build its next location near the Interstate 10 and Loop 1604 interchange in San Antonio.
San Antonio City Council on Thursday approved a zoning change for a Specific Use Authorization for motor vehicle sales on 1.5 acres in the 5000 block of Loop 1604 West. This followed a Dec. 1 review by the Zoning Commission, which passed the request unanimously.
Carvana does not operate as a traditional dealership. Shoppers find their car online and then have it delivered or go to a location where a small selection of quality used cars are displayed in a coin-operated glass tower “vending machine” that lowers vehicles to the delivery bays, of which there are four.
The lot is described as a “pick-up station,” and a total of 32 cars for sale are on site at any given time.
Carvana plans to build an 8,600-square-foot office structure with the tower attached. The site plan also provides for 44 customer parking spaces, for a total of 65 percent impervious cover.
Carvana began selling cars in the San Antonio-Austin corridor near the end of October. However, the operation has functioned by providing home delivery.
Based in Phoenix, Arizona, Carvana has a 30-acre operations center in Dallas where it keeps inventory for the region. Sales contracts and related documents are handled online.
A spokesman for the company said that when the project goes to construction, some time in the first quarter of 2016, the general contractor will be chosen by competitive sealed bid.
The company is in the process of obtaining approval from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (the site is atop the Edwards Aquifer), and a city building permit.
Carvana was represented by James McKnight of the land use and government affairs law firm Brown & Ortiz. The site and structure designs are being prepared by Hodge Engineering of Nashville, Tennessee.