CarLotz Inc. is moving its corporate headquarters to Scott’s Addition.
The Richmond-based retailer that sells used vehicles on consignment is taking over 20,700 square feet of space on West Moore Street in the HandCraft Cleaners building, the company announced Friday morning. It is currently leasing about 7,000 square feet at 611 Bainbridge St. in the Manchester area of South Richmond.
CarLotz also is leasing 1,900 square feet on the third floor in the part of the HandCraft Cleaners building at Roseneath Road and West Leigh Street. The company is evaluating leasing an additional 4,400 square feet elsewhere in Scott’s Addition, but a deal has not yet been signed.
The company is relocating to bigger space for its corporate headquarters to accommodate an increasing number of employees it has hired since CarLotz’s shares started trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange in January. Being a publicly traded company that has plans for rapid growth means it is hiring dozens of employees to handle accounting, human resources, real estate, legal, technology and other operations.
Some of the new employees are part of a team that manages and handles phone calls and online requests from customers.
CarLotz had about 45 employees working at its corporate offices in January. It now has about 100 employees, said Michael Bor, CarLotz’s co-founder, chairman and CEO.
It expects to hire an additional 130-plus employees over the next three years, creating a total of 192 new jobs on top of the 45 positions it had in January, he said.
The company plans to invest $1.5 million to relocate into the new space at 3301 W. Moore St. The move should take place later this year.
“We actually liked Manchester quite a bit. We’ve gotten to know the local businesses and eateries and breweries and all that. The area is awesome and it’s growing and there’s a ton of development” in Manchester, Bor said. “But we just couldn’t find the right deal, the right space for the right price.”
The company looked elsewhere in the Richmond region for space — in downtown, Scott’s Addition and the Innsbrook Corporate Center in western Henrico County. It also looked in Tennessee, Texas and the state of Washington.
“The space that we were shown there [in the HandCraft Cleaners building] is really attractive. It has an open floor plan, very modern. It allows us to have a space that fits our brand in a part of the city that fits our brand, that our team would be very excited to show up to every day with the vibrancy and the food and entertainment options in that area that people love these days,” Bor said. “So it just seemed like a no-brainer, and then with the deal that we’ve worked out with the city and the state, it just became very attractive.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Richmond to secure the project for Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam’s office said. The governor approved a $700,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Richmond with the project. CarLotz is also eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program.
CarLotz is taking over space in the northeast corner of the HandCraft Cleaners building at the corner of West Moore Street and Mactavish Avenue. The company will be adjacent to Väsen Brewing Co. and Stella’s Grocery gourmet market.
Across West Moore Street is where a 350-unit, six-story apartment building is under construction that will take up a city block.
The space that CarLotz is taking over had been used by apparel retailer Need Supply Co. for its corporate headquarters from 2018 until last year, when the company shut down all operations. Before that, the space was occupied by Evatran Group Inc., the former maker of wireless charging stations for electric vehicles that used the space for its offices and manufacturing operations.
CarLotz, which opened its first store in the spring of 2011 on Midlothian Turnpike in Chesterfield County, takes vehicles on consignment and, for a flat fee, prepares the vehicles for resale and negotiates a deal on the seller’s behalf. It has been on an ambitious national expansion program with plans to open as many as 16 new hub locations — where it receives and reconditions used vehicles offered by its customers for sale — this year. Those new hubs would be in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Nevada, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
“This is a company that is up and coming,” Northam said during an announcement Friday made at the new headquarters location.
When Northam was elected governor in 2017, he said he had to sell his two personal cars. He sold one to an aide.
“I just didn’t have time to deal with the other. Guess who sold our car for my wife — CarLotz,” Northam said. “It was a wonderful experience and a great model that you have. Mike [Bor], I commend you for your vision and for how you have grown this company.”
CarLotz now has 12 locations in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Illinois, Texas and Washington. It has two locations in the Richmond area and one each in Chesapeake and Charlottesville.