CarMax to start Tupelo store construction in April

By Dennis Seid

Daily Journal

TUPELO– CarMax, which has worked for more than a year to build a store in Tupelo, filed its site plans with the city earlier this week.

Company officials say construction is expected to begin in April and finish in September.

carmaxThe store will be a total of 7,467 square feet, with 4,394 dedicated to the sales area. The service area will have 2,439 square feet, and a future car wash will cover 936 square feet.

An uncovered “presentation area” will take up the remaining 634 square feet.

The dealership will have 54 parking spaces for customers, while there are 151 spaces for vehicles that will be on sale.

A change in the city’s development code last fall finally allowed CarMax to move ahead with its plans.

The company in earlier interviews said it was investing $5 million in the project.

CarMax had gotten special conditional use by the Planning Committee to build, despite objections from some automobile dealers who complained that they previously had been denied opening used car dealerships in the Barnes Crossing District Overlay.

The district is a busy commercial section of Tupelo that includes North Gloster Street and Barnes Crossing Road. Tom Watson Drive, where CarMax is building, also is in the district.

The city council had overruled the Planning Committee’s decision for conditional use for CarMax.

But the company later sued, and said it still intended to build in Tupelo. After a new development code was adopted last fall, CarMax dropped its suit.

The site of the dealership is south of Fairfield Inn and Suites on Tom Watson Drive.

dennis.seid@journalinc.com