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Local News

DriveTime used car company wants to move to Joliet site

The former Century Title building is seen Tuesday along Larkin Avenue in Joliet.
The former Century Title building is seen Tuesday along Larkin Avenue in Joliet.

JOLIET – DriveTime, a national used car company that targets hard-to-finance customers, plans to move into a vacant spot on Larkin Avenue.

The car dealership wants to open later this year at the vacant Century Tile site at 1395 N. Larkin Ave., a city official said.

First, DriveTime needs to get a special-use permit required for all used car lots, said James Haller, director of community and economic development for Joliet.

The Zoning Board of Appeals is scheduled to consider the permit at its April 21 meeting.

DriveTime is an Arizona-based company that describes itself on its website as “the nation’s largest dealer helping people with credit issues purchase a great vehicle.”

The company would open the Joliet location in November at the earliest, according to an email from a spokesperson.

DriveTime has 139 dealerships in 26 states, including five in Illinois. DriveTime dealerships in Illinois are in Aurora, Hickory Hills, Lombard, Schaumburg and Waukegan.

The Larkin Avenue site contains a large parking lot, which should provide room for used cars, Haller said. He noted that the city has dealt with a number of used car dealerships proposed for small sites.

“We’ve gotten into this realm where we try to dictate to these smaller car lots how many cars they can have,” he said. “It’s not an issue in larger lots.”

Century Tile closed in late summer. At the time, The Salvation Army planned to put a store there, but the organization later decided against the plan.

The site is near Thomas Toyota-Nissan, which plans to move its Toyota dealership to Romeoville. The company reportedly is keeping the Nissan dealership at the Joliet location.

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