Tag Archives: Dragone Classic Motorworks

Electric Car Dealer May Still Move Into Dragone

Yesterday, “06880” reported that Carvana — the online used car dealer — is moving into the space vacated last spring by Dragone Classic Motorworks.

Though the Planning & Zoning Commission recently passed a text amendment allowing an electric car dealership on the property — provided it remediated all the oil, chemicals and other contaminants there — Carvana would not have to do that. As a non-electric car dealer, the text amendment does not apply.

However, Carvana is only a temporary tenant.

According to a letter sent by David Ross of 176 PRW LLC — the owner of the 176 Post Road West property, diagonally across from Kings Highway Elementary School — to Mary Young, P&Z director, he and his company are “strong advocates” for electric vehicles.

In fact, he says, he’s been involved in their development since 2005. In 2013 he bought an EV, joined the Westport Electric Car Club, and began working to bring an EV facility to Westport. That’s when he first eyed the Dragone site.

“We acquired the property and the lease at 176 with the sole purpose of bringing an EVAD (electric vehicle auto dealership) to Westport,” he writes.

“We believe it would be great for Westport and help the other properties on Post Road West flourish.”

However, he adds, “there are a lot of moving parts in this process, and we are just clearing one hurdle at a time. The EVAD would not commit until we had a site. Thus we took a big risk and purchased the site. We now need zoning approval so our chances to get the EV company can increase significantly.”

Some factors, Ross says, “are beyond our control. The EV company has corporate and legislative hurdles they are working hard to clear. But without the approvals our chances drop to zero.”

The former Dragone property, and its neighbor, on Post Road West.

Ross says that Carvana would be a short-term tenant. 176 PRW is making a business decision “to cover costs, while the EV company works out their challenges.”

Ross has hired a development team to work on the long-term plan, with a “major EV company.”

So there may well be an electric car dealer on Post Road West.

And — according to the P&Z text amendment approved earlier this month — they would clean up the site, contaminated by years of use by regular ol’ gas-powered car dealers.

Coming Soon: Carvana

Remember that text amendment the Planning & Zoning Commission passed a couple of weeks ago? You know, the one that would have permitted an electric car dealer on the site of the former Dragone Classic Motorcars — provided they remediated the soil, and fixed the rest of the property that was filled with oils and chemicals, after decades of use by old-fashioned car dealers.

An Alfa Romeo, outside the former Dragone Classic Motorworks showroom in Westport.

Turns out, the new tenant could be Carvana.

That’s the Arizona-based, 6-year-old used car dealer that sells entirely online. Customers search for, finance and trade in their old vehicles all through the website. They can inspect any vehicle — inside and out — with 360-degree views.

Carvana offers nationwide delivery, or the option to pick up a vehicle at one of their “car vending machine locations.”

So it appears there won’t be an electric car dealer on Post Road West after all.

Instead, there will be a used car dealer.

And because a text amendment is not required for one regular automobile dealership to replace another, there’s no requirement for Carvana to clean up the site — opposite Kings Highway Elementary School — at all.