A company plans to launch a used-car showroom later this year along the Scottsdale Motor Mile, an area that has seen the loss of multiple traditional dealerships that have either closed or moved elsewhere.
Centerlane Auto Sales has submitted plans to the city to demolish and remodel the former Scott Toyota site at 6850 E. McDowell Road and open what the company's Web site says will be a place "where any and everyone could come and purchase a quality used vehicle hassle-free."
Scottsdale will likely have the first Centerlane location, with plans to open 70 more around the country, according to the company's Web site.
The company specializes in "financing customers that have less than perfect credit," and says it plans to open in December, according to the Web site.
Attempts to reach the company were unsuccessful.
The plan for the former Scott Toyota site includes demolishing what was the two-story sales office and showroom, along with the service center and storage building. The two-story parts building will be remodeled and expanded to feature the sales office, showroom and reception space. The parking garage will also remain on the 5-acre site. While that is being remodeled, the plan is for Centerlane to rent space at the former Nissan of Scottsdale site, said Harold Stewart, Scottsdale's acting economic vitality general manager.
The Scottsdale Development Review Board is scheduled to vote whether to approve the project's design at its Dec. 4 meeting.
The Centerlane concept of purchasing fixed-price used cars is already occurring on the Motor Mile at Penske's Scottsdale Wholesale Outlet, which replaced the Scottsdale Audi dealership a few months ago.
The Motor Mile, which includes a cluster of dealerships along McDowell and Scottsdale roads - including the high-end luxury brands - has been hurt by a number of departures and closings.
In addition to Scottsdale Audi, there were the most recent closings of Bill Heard Chevrolet and Power Pontiac/Buick/GMC. Scott Toyota and Nissan of Scottsdale have relocated to Mesa Riverview. Chapman BMW has announced it plans to move to Chandler, but for now remains on McDowell Road.
The only announced replacements for the fleeing dealerships have been Scottsdale Wholesale Outlet and Centerlane.
"We will talk to everybody we can about getting new car dealerships, but most manufacturers are pulling back on dealerships rather than increasing them," Stewart said.
Scottsdale, which is facing up to a $35 million budget shortfall, like most cities relies on auto dealerships to generate large amounts of sales tax. In Scottsdale's case, not only has the city been hurt by the national downtown in auto sales, but the Motor Mile departures.
Scottsdale estimates those dealerships, along with the closure of Scottsdale Lincoln Mercury in north Scottsdale, represent a loss of $3 million to $4 million in annual revenue.
Overall in the city, auto sales tax collections are down 27 percent this fiscal year compared with the same time a year ago, according to the city's October monthly financial update.