The I-4 AutoMall: A Car-Buying Experience that Minimizes Land-Use Impacts

The car-buying experience hasn't changed much in the last few decades. Typically, a buyer could spend a day driving from dealership to dealership looking for a new vehicle. This seems normal, but what about factoring in rain, or the time spent covering that much ground? These are inconveniences, certainly. But the bigger issue at hand, that many of us don't consider until we really stop to think about it, is the natural impacts these dealerships play on our environment. In a typical "auto mile," 8-10 dealerships may span up to 110 acres. That's thousands of displaced trees and species. What if there was a different way to shop for a vehicle that resulted in less extreme environmental impacts?

Photo courtesy of I-4 AutoMall/HHCP Design International, Inc.

The I-4 AutoMall is just that. This new approach to the car-buying experience is about to become a reality in Central Florida. The multi-level building will create space for dealerships to rent portions of the facility, including areas for storage, showroom, service, and administration. The one-stop-shop gives buyers the opportunity to see all their options in one place. The context-sensitive design for the facility includes centralized receiving and distribution hubs, which minimizes the need for semi-trucks to use main roadways and public spaces. Additionally, the energy-saving measures are advanced and vast, and include rainwater harvesting, rooftop solar panels, and micro grid services.

Preparing the Land

But before any of these technologies can be put into place, the land must be surveyed and prepped. Our team is working alongside the I-4 AutoMall team to provide an array of services for the project, including entitlement assistance, environmental permitting, threatened and endangered species studies, utility locations, land and tree surveying, and topographic mapping. Because of the unique project location-along a heavily used interstate in Central Florida-we're seeking ways to minimize land use impacts and cut down on eliminating such a large quantity of trees, including compacted building areas and an increase in open spaces.

Photo courtesy of I-4 AutoMall/HHCP Design International, Inc.

Photo courtesy of I-4 AutoMall/HHCP Design International, Inc.

Considering Natural Impacts

Because of the vertical design developed by HHCP Design International Inc., the facility and its surrounding infrastructure will cover 18 acres, as opposed to a traditional group of eight to 10 dealerships, which would occupy approximately 110 acres. This space will include 11 modules and a distribution center. Ultimately, the goal is to develop a facility that balances the built environment and nature by limiting land-use impacts, providing natural spaces for ecosystems, and minimizing noise impacts to surrounding areas.

Looking ahead, we're excited about continuing this relationship as the I-4 AutoMall group opens locations across the U.S.

  • Rey Malave
    Rey Malave
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