Auto 'superstore' expects groundbreaking by July 1

April 05, 1996|By Ivan Penn | Ivan Penn,SUN STAFF

An attorney for CarMax, a used-car "superstore" that plans to open a 700- to 900-car retail operation in the spring of 1997 just south of Savage, said the company will submit the project's site plans to the county by mid-May and expects to break ground by July 1.

John F. Breitenberg, representing CarMax, said that before the site plans are submitted, he plans to meet with residents to hear their ideas. No date has been set for the meeting, but the attorney said he plans to schedule it for this month.

"To the extent that we can, we want to include the community's input," Mr. Breitenberg said.

Bill Waff, president of the Savage Community Association, said residents have expressed concern about potential problems from bright lights at night and from runoff of water from the parking lot. But he said most of the concerns are minimal.

"I didn't really see any problems," Mr. Waff said.

CarMax, a subsidiary of Circuit City Stores Inc., plans to open its sixth operation at the long-vacant Freestate Development, at U.S. 1 and Gorman Road.

The company promises to bring 300 jobs to the county when CarMax opens.

The only obstacle to the project was a state ban on Sunday car sales in all but Montgomery and Prince George's counties. CarMax officials said they would not come to Howard County unless sales on Sunday -- the company's second-biggest day for sales -- were allowed there, too.

That obstacle was cleared last week when members of the House of Delegates voted for Sunday car sales in Howard, despite protests from car dealers in Howard and throughout the state. The state Senate voted for Sunday car sales in February.

The measure allowing Sunday sales awaits the signature of Gov. Parris N. Glendening, who has said he supports the bill.

Pub Date: 4/05/96

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