A Utica group of car dealerships has gobbled up nearly 10 acres of vacant land off Route 11 in the town of Watertown from a Rochester-area commercial real estate company for $350,000.
Enessa M. Carbone, vice president of the Carbone Auto Group, said the group of dealerships purchased the property last month for possible future investment and does not have plans for the land in a stretch of the highway thats home to several dealerships.
The Utica company became aware of the property when it considered opening a Honda dealership here about two years ago after DealMaker Auto Group lost its dealership down the road, she said.
Ms. Carbone said the company would like to enter the Watertown market, but she would not specify whether it would be with a Honda dealership or some other franchise.
Were definitely interested in getting in the Watertown market, she said. Its a great market. Were definitely interested.
Carbone first expressed an interest in the property with the previous owner in 2010, the Jay Birnbaum Co., and entered an option to purchase the property; the contract was coming to its expiration, so it agreed to finalize the deal, she said.
In business since 1929, the Carbone Auto Group consists of about 24 dealerships that include Honda, Ford, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Harley-Davidson and others across New York and two other states.
The Route 11 property, assessed at $153,000 this year, once included Ridgeview Lanes, the bowling alley that was demolished about 15 years ago.
In 2010, a federal judge ordered the seizure of more than 100 vehicles at DealMaker Auto Groups Honda dealerships in Watertown and Potsdam on behalf of a California company that provided financing for the vehicles.