Smart Motors

Smart Motors has proposed a plan to the city that would renovate and expand its used car lot on Odana Road.

A used car lot on the city's West Side is about to get a major upgrade. 

Smart Motors has submitted plans with the city that would expand and renovate its used car lot at 5702 Odana Road.

The project would include the demolition of the existing building on the site and the removal of an office building on a neighboring parcel to create a 5.6-acre development with prime corner visibility at Odana Road and Tokay Boulevard, according to documents.

Additions would include the construction of a two-story, 13,838 square-foot building for the used car dealership sales office and for offices for Smart Motors staff. The cost of the project was not disclosed but the land for the two parcels is assessed at $2.26 million, according to the city.

"The development incorporates architectural features that are aesthetically similar to Smart Motors' new car dealership located at 5901 Odana Road as well as landscaping features that are consistent with the goals of the Commercial Corridor-Transitional District No. 3," J.R. Smart, owner and CEO,  wrote in his land use application. "Smart Motors has worked closely with Ald. Mark Clear throughout the planning of this development and Alder Clear is supportive of this project."

The site is across the street from Smart Motors' expansive new car dealership at 5901 Odana Road and across from a Don Miller dealership that sells Dodge, Jeep, Mazda and Subaru vehicles, among others, at 5802 Odana Road. 

Smart Motors is one of the oldest car dealerships in the state. The company's roots go back to 1908 when O.D. Smart sold an Apperson Jackrabbit from his father’s livery and grain business in Waukesha while he attended Carroll College. Smart worked at the Waukesha Auto Garage beginning in 1909 and then moved to Madison in 1912 when he opened a car dealership in a former livery stable at 617 University Ave.

Send retail-related tips and story ideas to or call Barry Adams at 608-252-6148.


Barry Adams covers regional and business news for the Wisconsin State Journal.