CarMax considering local site


Published: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 1:32 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 1:32 p.m.

CarMax is looking at land on N. Main Street to build a used car superstore.

The company has a contract on the land pending the site plan and permitting process, said spokeswoman Bridget Szuminsky.

"That doesn't necessarily mean we're going to build there," she said. "Even if we do, it could take one to three years to open the store."

The land is north of 39th Avenue on the east side of Main Street between Subaru of Gainesville and the Gainesville Regional Utilities Eastside Operations Center.

Lawrence Calderon, chief of current planning for the city of Gainesville, said they are working through wetlands issues on the property.

CarMax, based in Richmond, Va., is a Fortune 500 company with 117 locations in 58 cities. The company sold 408,080 used vehicles and another 316,649 at wholesale auctions in the stores in the fiscal year ending in February 2012.

It is known for its "no-haggle" prices.

— Anthony Clark

Coffee Collective

Quinn Martin and Michelle Parker rang in the new year by launching a fundraising campaign at Indiegogo.com, the beginning of a two-month effort to raise the $15,000 necessary to kick-start their business.

They hope to open Gainesville's first worker-run, vegan, anti-profit coffee house, Radical Press Coffee Collective.

Martin, 23, and Parker, 25, are two of Radical Press' seven co-owners.

Radical Press will be located in the Civic Media Center & Library on S. Main Street. The CMC is a magnet for Gainesville's activist community, said Robbie Czopek, a coordinator.

Still, many Gainesville residents are unaware of the CMC.

Martin is optimistic about Radical Press' ability to breathe new life into the CMC.

Parker and Martin are confident that the progressive values behind Radical Press are a good fit for the community surrounding the CMC. Its neighbors include the Citizens Co-op, the Sequential Artists Workshop and in early February will include the relocated Wild Iris Books.

As a coffee collective, all seven members of Radical Press own an equal share of the business and will also be the only people working there.

"It came from a desire from people who wanted to work for themselves," said Parker, on the initial inspiration behind Radical Press. "And we all really like coffee."

The name Radical Press is a double play on words. It is a reference to the French press coffee maker and to the progressive media, the "free press" that is so very important to the social justice activists and human rights advocates that comprise the CMC's usual crowd.

The term "anti-profit" signifies their intention to funnel any surplus revenue (after rent, utilities, equipment and wages) back into the CMC and, potentially, other community projects.

"By calling ourselves anti-profit, we're committed to only paying ourselves a fair living wage and not trying to give ourselves more money than we feel we deserve," said Martin. "We don't like the idea that the nonprofit status can be abused and end up making people a lot of money.

— Brittany Bokzam

Sweetbay

The Sweetbay supermarket chain has announced that it will close 33 stores in Florida.

Sweetbay's parent company, the Belgium-based Delhaize Group, said last Thursday that it plans to close the stores by mid-February. Of Sweetbay's 33 closings, 12 are in Pinellas and Pasco counties, six are in Tampa, plus several single store closings. So 22 of the 33 are in the Tampa Bay region, with the bulk of the other closings down the coast in the Sarasota and Fort Myers markets.

Sweetbay will still have 72 stores in Florida — including the Gainesville store — after the closures.

The Delhaize Group's earnings report showed that fourth quarter revenues for Delhaize America fell 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter, with the company anticipating a 17.5 percent decline in 2012 operating profits.

— Associated Press

Anthony Clark is the Gainesville Sun business editor and Brittany Bokzam is a Gainesville Sun correspondent.

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