Development

Carvana eyes old Philip Morris site for $35 million facility and hundreds of jobs

Online used car retailer Carvana is seeking to put a facility in Concord at the old Philip Morris site, a project that would create hundreds of jobs and cost around $35 million, according to a Cabarrus County economic development official and county records.

The proposed project involves upfitting an existing building at the site, according to a draft agreement attached to the agenda for a Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners meeting Monday.

At the Concord site, Carvana intends to get cars ready to be sent out to be sold to customers, according to the Independent Tribune of Concord.

The project would create 304 jobs within the first three years, paying an average wage of $40,560 for full-time employment, the draft agreement stated.

As part of their Monday night meeting ,Commissioners will hold a public hearing on the project. Concord’s City Council approved local grants for the Carvana project last Thursday, said Samantha Grass, recruitment project manager for Cabarrus Economic Development.

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Grass said landing the Carvana facility is a competitive process, and that the company has said its final decision will be contingent on state support and other incentives.

A spokeswoman for Carvana could not be reached for comment Friday evening.

Eight stories of cars

Last year along South Boulevard, Carvana debuted Charlotte’s first “car vending machine,” an eight-story, clear glass box full of cars.

After someone has bought their car, they can use an oversized commemorative coin to activate a machine that transports the vehicle down from the tower to a ground-floor delivery bay. A robotic lift takes the car down and slides it to the customer, with no human intervention.

Over in Concord, in January, Charlotte investment firm Bootsmead LeaseCo LLC said that demolition would begin soon for buildings at the former Philip Morris site, now known as the Grounds at Concord. The facility covers 3.5 million square feet and approximately 500 acres in Concord.

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The former Philip Morris plant on US 29 in Concord will be demolished over the course of the year, a Charlotte investment firm said in early 2019. JEFF SINER Observer file photo

The Philip Morris plant opened in 1983.

Philip Morris’ parent company announced plans in 2007 to shutter the massive cigarette manufacturing plant and consolidate work in Virginia, a move impacting all 2,500 workers in Concord, The Observer reported at the time.

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