By Amye Anderson
UCBJ Managing Editor
COOKEVILLE – When the opportunity arose to purchase properties next door to his sprawling Cumberland Auto Center campus, Lanny Dunn, owner, jumped on it.
“Obviously, I’m in the car business,” he told the UCBJ. “We need more room.”
Crews have been busy this week, clearing the site of the remains of the recently-demolished commercial structure that once stood at 1510 Interstate Dr.; one of the properties Dunn recently purchased.
According to city records, a permit was issued in 2012 for the construction of that building, estimated to cost $588,000. The building, according to pictures listed on the real estate website www.zillow.com, was never built out internally and has sat vacant since the shell was constructed.
Also gone is the Pioneer Storage facility next door, at 1530 Interstate Dr. Dunn says he purchased that property a little more than a year ago but only took possession of it earlier this month.
In all, Dunn says he’s secured a little more than four acres between the properties – plenty of room to expand Cumberland Toyota’s offerings as well as allow the group to open a large pre-owned center named Overdrive USA. That new facility will be a 30,000-square-foot building housing office space and home to a full detailing service.
“We’re expanding our used car operation hoping we can double and possibly triple our used car operation with the largest used car inventory anywhere in this area,” Dunn said.
Combined with the existing Cumberland Auto Center properties, the latest additions will bring the total size of the campus to approximately 18.5 acres and will provide more parking for staff and service customers and will provide plenty of “elbow room,” Dunn added.
He estimates the pre-owned lot will be the largest between Nashville and Knoxville.
“I intend to build, by far, the largest used car operation anywhere between Knoxville and Nashville, if not in the state of Tennessee,” Dunn said.
He estimates the expansion project will wrap in mid-2018.
Dealerships under the Cumberland Auto Group umbrella include Toyota, Kia, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram.