Butler County jobs: Why a used car company will build a 200,000-square-foot office here

Carvana has launched service in Dayton.
Carvana has launched service in Dayton.

An online used car retailer and technology business is bringing an automotive processing facility to Butler County.

Tempe, Arizona-based Carvana plans to start construction on the approximately 200,000-square-foot facility at 5506 Kennel Road in Trenton this summer and complete it by December 2021. No retail sales will take place on site.

The Butler County Board of Commissioners on Monday approved an Ohio Enterprise Zone Program Application, giving Carvana a 65 percent property tax exemption for seven years.

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David Fehr, Butler County’s development director, told this news outlet the project is important for several reasons.

“The city of Trenton purchased and invested in the property with the intention of developing it for commercial purposes,” Fehr said. “New income tax will be generated for the city. The Edgewood School District will also see new tax dollars. The large number of employees at the facility will spin-off other economic activity as those workers purchase items from local businesses.”

The Enterprise Zone Application says the Carvana project will create 400 full-time permanent positions. Full-time positions include benefits, including health care. Employee wages are projected at $18 an hour.

Located in the Trenton Industrial Park, the project should start construction this summer and be completed by December 2021.

Employment ramp-up is projected to see 200 jobs in the first year, 100 additional jobs in the second year and 100 more jobs in the third year. At full employment, annual payroll will exceed $13 million dollars annually.

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Carvana, which touts itself the fastest-growing used car dealer in the United States, generated revenue of $3.94 billion in 2019 and nearly doubled the vehicles it moved that year to 177,549 from 94,108 vehicles in 2018.

Butler County commissioners, before approved the tax exemption, talked at length about the company about only employing what appeared to be entry-level, unskilled workers.

They asked Fehr to make Carvana officials aware of different programs the county has to provide workers the opportunity to move up in their skill sets.

“Every time we do an abatement or some incentive for a company we always try and pay particular attention to the workforce,” said Commissioner Don Dixon. “Can we offer some people that are trained or can we hook them up with one of our D. Russell Lee training accounts? Can we help get the staff up to speed?”

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Each Carvana pickup location allows customers to shop more than than 25,000 vehicles on Carvana.com, finance, purchase, trade in and schedule as-soon-as-next-day Car Vending Machine pickup or home delivery of that vehicle.

Customers who choose Car Vending Machine pickup select a day and time convenient for them. Once they arrive at the site, they receive a commemorative, oversized Carvana coin to activate the vending process, then watch as their vehicle descends an all-glass tower.

The company says the process takes “only minutes, compared to hours at a dealership.”

All Carvana vehicles come with a 7-day return policy, after having passed a 150-point inspection. Each vehicle has never been in a reported accident and has no frame damage. Features, imperfections and updated information about open safety recalls are listed on every car’s vehicle description page.

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