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CarMax pays $7.7 million for site of future Amherst used car superstore

CarMax has closed on its $7.7 million purchase of the site of a planned used car superstore on Niagara Falls Boulevard in Amherst, according to records filed Wednesday afternoon with the Erie County Clerk's Office.

CarMax put the 6-acre property, at 1881 Niagara Falls Blvd., under contract in 2015 and purchased an adjoining, half-acre parcel, at 1893 Niagara Falls Blvd., last year for $325,000.

The properties were the site of the former Holiday Inn Buffalo Amherst, owned by Visions Hotels LLC of Corning. The closing was scheduled to take place once demolition of the former hotel was finished, and that work wrapped up about two weeks ago, said Minesh Patel, the chief financial officer.

CarMax typically invests between $10 million and $25 million in a new dealership, and brings between 15 and 100 jobs to a store, depending on its size, CarMax spokeswoman Lindsey Duke said previously.

Each store has between 200 and 400 used cars on site, although customers can access the company's national inventory of 50,000 used cars through the CarMax website and mobile app.

In Amherst, CarMax would construct an 18,824-square-foot complex that would include sales, service, car wash and presentation areas in multiple buildings at the site just north of the Youngmann Memorial Highway interchange. The Town Board approved rezoning the site and the Planning Board approved the site plan.

Once construction begins, Duke said it could take between nine and 12 months to finish. With a 2018 start to construction, that could push the store opening into 2019.

CarMax has more than 160 stores in 39 states and is adding 13 to 16 stores in each of the next two years. Their closest dealership to Buffalo is in the Rochester suburb of Henrietta.

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