FAIRFIELD — CarMax will open in the Fairfield Auto Mall on Aug. 28.
The national used car giant has for months been remodeling the old Chrysler building and the surrounding area. Its pylon sign that can be seen from Interstate 80 went up weeks ago.
CarMax won’t have a public grand opening for its 17th California store, CarMax spokeswoman Catherine Gryp said. Rather, it will offer an event on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CarMax that the public can participate in to benefit local charities.
CarMax will give $1,000 each to the Vacaville Neighborhood Boys and Girls Club, Solano-Napa Habitat for Humanity and the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, she said. Then, from Aug. 28 to Sept. 11, people will be able to vote for the charities, with the winner getting an additional $2,000.
The coming of CarMax signifies the comeback of the Fairfield Auto Mall, Fairfield Economic Development Manager Karl Dumas said. During the economic downturn, several dealerships closed, making the auto mall look like one of those partly vacant subdivisions common at the time, he said.
Since the Great Recession, Price-Simms Inc. opened Ford and Mercedes-Benz dealerships and the Momentum Auto Group opened Volkswagen and Mazda, all in the auto mall.
Fairfield City Manager Sean Quinn announced in February 2011 that CarMax would be coming to Fairfield.
“They saw the potential of the auto mall, even though we had some dealerships that were closed,” Dumas said.
Fairfield has included sales tax receipts for CarMax in its latest budget for city services, but hasn’t revealed how much. The city keeps sales tax totals for individual businesses confidential.
Dumas expects CarMax to be a regional draw.
“Once they get their product in there, you’re going to get people coming into Fairfield, some of whom never visited our town before,” Dumas said.
What are you buzzing about? Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or email@example.com.