ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It will definitely catch your attention while driving on I-25. You could soon be able to buy a car from a vending machine. A new type of business is expected to pop up in Albuquerque soon, and it is expected to shake up the used-car buying game. While the city said it is still reviewing Carvana’s plans but they don’t expect to run into any hurdles in getting the company its permit.
It will be an Albuquerque first. “Well, the biggest detail is that it is really cool,” city Planning Director Brennon Williams said. “This is something we haven’t seen in Albuquerque. It is a state of the art, 8-tier car vending machine right off I-25. “I am really excited for what the north I-25 corridor is looking like,” Williams said.
Williams said the $5 million project with Carvana has been in the works for more than a year. Now, the Phoenix-based online sales car company has formally requested a permit for a lot near Topgolf and Main Event. “Obviously the pandemic has put a damper on all sorts of businesses,” Williams said. “I think as we start to get back to normal, projects like this not only help to create a buzz and excitement about the area, but we also know from a development standpoint that many times, these projects piggyback on one another.”
The 76-foot glass and steel tower will be filled with dozens of cars that have been purchased online and are ready to be picked up. The company mails buyers a token. Then, they come to Carvana and place their token in the vending machine to pick up their vehicle. “The design lends itself to using a smaller piece of property to do vehicle sales,” Williams said. “Most dealerships around town have a lot of vehicles and asphalt. This is able to take all of that and make it vertical.”
Williams said different city agencies will review Carvana’s plans in the next week, and he expects construction to begin this summer. “I am excited for Albuquerque and looking forward to watching it be constructed,” Williams said.
Carvana plans to employ about a dozen people for this location. Carvana’s website shows they have 24 vending machines nationwide.