Carvana vending machine tower in Richmond sold to REIT for $8M

Carvana sells vending machine tower in Richmond

The 12-story tower at 2201 Westwood Ave. is Carvana’s 30th car vending machine in the U.S. (BizSense file)

Three months after opening its “car vending machine” in Richmond, Carvana has unloaded the 12-story structure to an Arizona-based REIT in a multimillion-dollar deal.

The used car retailer sold the customer center and tower for $8.2 million in a deal that closed Feb. 8. The facility is at 2201 Westwood Ave., across Interstate 195 from TopGolf.

The buyer was an entity tied to Store Capital Corp., a publicly traded real estate investment trust based in Scottsdale, a few miles north of Carvana’s headquarters in Tempe.

The Richmond facility is one of several Carvana vending machines that have changed hands around the country in recent months, including towers in Cleveland and Philadelphia, according to news reports.

Store Capital was the seller of the Cleveland tower and has owned other Carvana properties, according to the REIT’s SEC filings.

The deal appears to be the first in the Richmond market for Store Capital, whose portfolio totaled 2,788 properties as of September, according to its website. A middle-market net-lease REIT, Store Capital trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “STOR.”

A company representative said Store Capital would not comment on the transaction. Carvana did not return a request for comment Tuesday.

Carvana’s Rob Christian in the customer center, which has brick walls and industrial-style hardwood floors.

The Richmond facility opened in November as the online auto seller’s 30th vending machine nationwide. At 12 stories, it’s also one of its tallest, able to hold up to 43 vehicles at a time. Car buyers can elect to retrieve their online purchases from the automated, window-paneled structure.

The $4 million facility was built last year by Colorado-based Catamount Constructors. WHN Architects, out of Charlotte, North Carolina, designed the building, and Kimley-Horn was the engineer.

Carvana purchased the 1.66-acre Westwood site in 2020 for $1.8 million. The city most recently assessed the improved property at $4.9 million.

The property is one of several along that stretch of Westwood to change hands in recent months.

In late December, local businessman and real estate developer Jay Nichols bought the next-door property at 2117 Westwood Ave. for $3.8 million. The property was previously home to Atlantic Electrical Supply Corp., which was recently bought by D.C.-based Encompass Supply.

On the other side of Westwood, catty-corner from Carvana at the Hamilton Street intersection, Henrico County recently purchased a 4.6-acre parcel at 2200 Westwood Ave., reportedly for a future sewage pump station. The county paid $3.4 million for the site, which it most recently assessed at $642,700.

Also nearby, local developer Spy Rock Real Estate Group has filed plans with the county for a five-story, 245-unit apartment building at 2001 Dabney Road.

Carvana sells vending machine tower in Richmond

The 12-story tower at 2201 Westwood Ave. is Carvana’s 30th car vending machine in the U.S. (BizSense file)

Three months after opening its “car vending machine” in Richmond, Carvana has unloaded the 12-story structure to an Arizona-based REIT in a multimillion-dollar deal.

The used car retailer sold the customer center and tower for $8.2 million in a deal that closed Feb. 8. The facility is at 2201 Westwood Ave., across Interstate 195 from TopGolf.

The buyer was an entity tied to Store Capital Corp., a publicly traded real estate investment trust based in Scottsdale, a few miles north of Carvana’s headquarters in Tempe.

The Richmond facility is one of several Carvana vending machines that have changed hands around the country in recent months, including towers in Cleveland and Philadelphia, according to news reports.

Store Capital was the seller of the Cleveland tower and has owned other Carvana properties, according to the REIT’s SEC filings.

The deal appears to be the first in the Richmond market for Store Capital, whose portfolio totaled 2,788 properties as of September, according to its website. A middle-market net-lease REIT, Store Capital trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “STOR.”

A company representative said Store Capital would not comment on the transaction. Carvana did not return a request for comment Tuesday.

Carvana’s Rob Christian in the customer center, which has brick walls and industrial-style hardwood floors.

The Richmond facility opened in November as the online auto seller’s 30th vending machine nationwide. At 12 stories, it’s also one of its tallest, able to hold up to 43 vehicles at a time. Car buyers can elect to retrieve their online purchases from the automated, window-paneled structure.

The $4 million facility was built last year by Colorado-based Catamount Constructors. WHN Architects, out of Charlotte, North Carolina, designed the building, and Kimley-Horn was the engineer.

Carvana purchased the 1.66-acre Westwood site in 2020 for $1.8 million. The city most recently assessed the improved property at $4.9 million.

The property is one of several along that stretch of Westwood to change hands in recent months.

In late December, local businessman and real estate developer Jay Nichols bought the next-door property at 2117 Westwood Ave. for $3.8 million. The property was previously home to Atlantic Electrical Supply Corp., which was recently bought by D.C.-based Encompass Supply.

On the other side of Westwood, catty-corner from Carvana at the Hamilton Street intersection, Henrico County recently purchased a 4.6-acre parcel at 2200 Westwood Ave., reportedly for a future sewage pump station. The county paid $3.4 million for the site, which it most recently assessed at $642,700.

Also nearby, local developer Spy Rock Real Estate Group has filed plans with the county for a five-story, 245-unit apartment building at 2001 Dabney Road.

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Matt Merica
Matt Merica
4 months ago

This structure got roasted a month or so ago when it was in the headlines, and now it is back. I am not sure what to make of the transaction on both ends; carvana now rents this mess back from the REIT – carvana needed the cash? When carvana goes under, what is this structure going to be used for? The 1.66 acres is not worth $8 million lol

Alan Wilson
Alan Wilson
4 months ago
Reply to  Matt Merica

Must be a strategy to purge long term liabilities from the balance sheet. Carvana stock is down more than 60% since last summer in a market where used car sales are through the roof. Given the rapid capital expansion stated in previous articles, makes sense that increased monthly OpEx is more palatable to The Street than large sums of debt.

Chris Crews
Chris Crews
4 months ago
Reply to  Matt Merica

It’s really not that unusual in the corporate world (I spent decades in corporate restaurants). You buy the property to establish your footprint, sell it to someone else to recoup some of that initial investment, and then lease it back. Long term, should you decide to close that location, you’re not on the hook for sale of the property, real estate taxes, etc.

Kevin Franze
Kevin Franze
4 months ago
Reply to  Chris Crews

Chris, yes, many companies used the property lease back game to generate cash. But look at these Carvana properties. These are not restaurant locations they are car vending machines in the middle of nowhere. A restaurant can be flipped and reopened. Who would want a 43 car vending machine. And also look at the transaction. Three months ago they paid 4 million and a REIT, close to Carvana and its Drive Time father buys it for 8.2 million. While lease back arrangements can make sense, their flurry of Carvana lease back transactions where the property sells for double or more… Read more »

Chris Crews
Chris Crews
4 months ago
Reply to  Kevin Franze

With 2800 properties under their portfolio, perhaps Store Capital simply thinks that it’s a sound investment. Just a thought.

Ross Van Maren
Ross Van Maren
4 months ago
Reply to  Chris Crews

Stor will overpay for property because they have master leases. If carvana missed a rent payment Stor can go after their corporate balance sheet. They are the most shrewd REIT out there in my opinion, Carvana is raising capital through this deal and is way overpaying rent to get a few extra million in cash.

Jerel Carlyle Wilmore
Jerel Carlyle Wilmore
4 months ago
Reply to  Matt Merica

REITs can take advantage of flow-through tax treatment unlike a publicly traded C-Corp.

Kevin Franze
Kevin Franze
4 months ago
Reply to  Matt Merica

Carvana is desperately in need of cash to continue to buy cars over market value. There is an article about a 7 year old Honda sold to this techno wizzrdly car price program where the seller sold the car to carvana over original sticker price. Carvana has has a series of cash desperation sales to generate cash. They bought property on Long Island and then sold it that same day for double the purchase price and a 18 million dollar profit. This company is desperate for cash because their finance company Ally put restrictions on them because of their questionable… Read more »

Steven Cohen
Steven Cohen
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt Merica

Giant Candy Bar Vending Machine owned by Hershey.

LARS DANCE
LARS DANCE
4 months ago

It’s so interesting and obvious how liberal minded community planners and developers are disappearing the suburbs for high-rise clustered hives, where no yards exist, hardly any privacy is possible as your daily experience revolves around smells from your neighbor’s kitchens, hearing them run up and down stairs, and being in your face when you leave your hovel to check your mail. People in these ant farms, are encouraged not to drive, and live in areas where highway expansion is halting, gas prices are soaring and bicycle paths are growing, all in attempts to keep the masses huddled in controlled areas,… Read more »

Jackson Joyner
Jackson Joyner
4 months ago
Reply to  LARS DANCE

“liberal minded community planners and developers are disappearing the suburbs for high-rise clustered hives…” Hunh? So, the Arizona REIT who purchased this property in the city is part of a liberal conspiracy to “disappear” the suburbs and indoctrinate the children? Do you work for Newsmax or OANN?

Randall Hudgins
Randall Hudgins
4 months ago

I’m just spitballing here, but perhaps you could put people inside the tower and market it as Tinder in real life. That or a fried chicken joint.

Michael Vigorito
Michael Vigorito
4 months ago

Randall, in a world where so much is supposedly being done to combat human trafficking, yet young girls are openly bringing in millions of dollars for the traffickers on websites like OnlyFans, Twitter and Instagram, just to name a few, if you had a human vending machine NOBODY would bat an eye. It’s a sad world we live in where money talks and if you pay the right people, you can do as you please. The thousands of girls that disappear every year in our country are bought, sold, used up and then discarded like a piece of trash when… Read more »