Lithia & Driveway revved up its South Florida real estate holdings by acquiring six Miami-Dade auto dealership complexes for a combined $96 million.
The sales are tied to Medford, Oregon-based Lithia’s overall purchase of nine auto dealerships run by the Lehman family and two auto dealerships founded by the late Miami philanthropist Ron Esserman. The property sales don’t include the price for vehicle inventory and other business assets.
A Lithia affiliate paid $24 million for a 4.6-acre automotive site at 10455 Northwest 12th Street in Doral that is home to Esserman Acura and Esserman Volkswagen, according to records. An affiliate of Esserman Auto Group bought the property for $1 million in 1998 and added the 170,254-square-foot showroom, garage and service center in 2002, records show.
The deal comes more than a year after Esserman’s widow, Charlene, sold the couple’s Coconut Grove waterfront home for $15 million.
Other Lithia affiliates paid a combined $72 million for five dealership complexes in Doral, Miami Gardens and Florida City that house Largo Honda, Doral Hyundai, Doral Genesis, Doral Kia, Lehman Buick GMC, Lehman Hyundai, Lehman Genesis, Lehman Subaru and Lehman Mitsubishi, records show.
Doral Hyundai, Doral Genesis and Doral Kia at 10285 Northwest 12th Street and 10155 Northwest 12th Street are adjacent to the Essserman complex. Lithia paid a combined $33.3 million for the two properties totaling nearly 14 acres, records show.
The 3.7-acre Largo Honda property at 554 Northeast First Avenue in Florida City traded for $22 million, and the two Lehman sites totaling 20 acres in Miami Gardens sold for a combined $16.6 million, records show. Affiliates of Lehman Dealership Enterprises, founded by the late Congressman William Lehman, sold the five sites.
One of the nation’s largest automotive retail groups, Lithia is in the midst of an aggressive acquisition strategy, according to the company’s website. Lithia, led by CEO Brian DeBoer, bought two Audi dealership complexes in Fort Lauderdale and Coral Springs for a combined $43 million last year, records show. The company now owns 277 dealerships nationwide, Lithia’s website states.
Lithia’s foray into South Florida represents the latest major dealership acquisition in the last two years. In 2020, Hanover, Maryland-based Redwood Capital Investments paid $90.5 million for car dealerships in Margate, Tamarac and West Palm Beach.