CarMax leases space in downtown Richmond for new digital/technology center
Atomotive retailer CarMax Inc.. Is joining other major employers in the Richmond region in having a presence in downtown Richmond.
The Fortune 500 company said Wednesday that it has signed a lease with Fulton Hill Properties for 26,000-square-foot of space in the Lady Byrd Hat building, a mixed-use renovated property along the Canal Walk. The space will be used for a new digital and technology innovation center.
During the next few months, CarMax said it plans to hire more than 50 associates for technology and digital positions, some of which will work in the new location. The company’s 250,000-square-foot corporate headquarters is located in a suburban West Creek Office Park in Goochland County.
The space in Shockoe Bottom will give the company a presence in the city for the first time. It joins other employers like SunTrust Bank and Dominion Resources, who already are located idowntown and who plan to stay there, with SunTrust and Dominion building new skyscapers.
CarMax said in a press release that it is growing and plans to open 13-16 new stores nationwide each year for the next two years, leading to home office growth and new technology positions in support of stores and strategic initiatives.
The new office at 140 Virginia St. in Shockoe Bottom. will help address that growth. Built in 1894, the building has been used as the Virginia Paper Company, a hat factory, a concert venue known as Toad’s Place and other commercial purposes including offices.
“This is a really great location for us,” said Jennifer Bartusiak in CarMax’s public affairs office. “Downtown Richmond is a popular destination with plenty of restaurants, and it’s right on the Canal Walk. We’re looking at it as place that will help attract great talent.”
The open technology and digital positions include a range of roles such as application architects, UX designers, security analysts and software developers. They will be charged with using innovative technology to enhance the e-commerce capabilities for CarMax ocustomers.
“Team members have the opportunity to work in a unique environment similar to a startup, but backed by the support of a large, established company,” Shamim Mohammad, senior vice president and chief information officer for CarMax, said in a statement. “We are looking for a variety of experience levels to develop best-in-class platforms and advance our website, mobile apps and associate platforms to help CarMax continue to deliver an unparalleled customer experience.”
CarMax data shows that consumers often begin vehicle research online and complete the purchase in-store. This trend is continuing to grow, leading to the need for new technology positions.
Currently, about 65% of visits to carmax.com come from something other than a laptop or desktop computer, and approximately 90% of CarMax purchasers start on carmax.com or the CarMax mobile app.