CarMax Auto Superstores Inc. the fast-growing new auto dealership subsidiary of Circuit City Stores Inc. has agreed to purchase a 15-acre site in Duarte for its first West Coast location, the city announced.

Duarte's City Council unanimously approved a disposition and development agreement between the city and the CarMax group to develop an 80,362-square-foot auto retailing facility along the city's Central Avenue auto row.

The center will sell used cars, at least initially.

The project, slated to be completed in mid-1998, would also include two parking structures totaling nearly 1,400 stalls and a sales lot.

The development is expected to create 150 to 300 jobs and generate about $1 million in annual sales tax revenue for Duarte, one of the cities along the Foothill Freeway (210) east of Pasadena.

CarMax now operates seven locations in Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida, but plans to have 80 to 90 stores in 45 to 50 top U.S. markets by the year 2002.

CarMax has agreed to pay just over $7.5 million for the site, including an 11.2-acre portion the city currently owns and another 3.7-acre parcel the city plans to acquire. The property currently houses apartments and single-family homes.

Brad Berton

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