SARATOGA SPRINGS — In the downtown, where parking is not in abundance, a longtime property owner paid the city a premium price of $801,000 — nearly 40% higher than “fair market value” — for a lot with 19 parking spaces.
Frank Izzo purchased the lot at the southwest corner of Caroline and Henry streets from the city. The property was transferred to him Oct. 27 and was recorded by the Saratoga County Clerk’s Office on Nov. 8.
Izzo owns three properties that hold five retail and five residential apartments in the immediate area, including 45 Caroline St., which houses Trotters sports bar and a two-bedroom apartment above it, and 47 Caroline St., which houses the Indian restaurant Karavalli Saratoga Springs. The building at 40-42 Caroline St. that houses two retail businesses and an apartment is attached to the lot.
The City Council as far back as May 4 determined the city should sell the asset through a competitive bidding process after deeming it was no longer useful, suitable or necessary for municipal purposes.
The city declared Izzo, under the corporate entity Caroline Henry LLC, the highest bidder in September.
Saratoga Springs no longer needed the parking lot because of the construction of the City Center Authority parking lot.
Selling it was part of a push to offload unneeded property to “mitigate the serious financial impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The 7,300-square-foot lot was appraised and determined to have a fair market value of $500,000.
In an interview, Izzo said he is marketing weekend parking for $10.
But he said he is likely to offer its parking spaces to his retail and residential tenants who presently use off-street parking.
“It’ll end up in the rents probably, to offset a little bit, to help us pay the taxes on it,” Izzo said. “I think we have enough room there in what we’re charging now. There is a big demand for paid parking downtown, we’ve come to find out.”
Asked if he would always use it as a parking lot, Izzo said, “I can’t guarantee that, but for the near future, yes.”
Izzo said his first purchase of properties in the Spa City was in 1978.
“I grew up here. We’re here to stay. We’d like to be part of it, my wife and son. We’re glad to have that opportunity to get the property and we were willing to pay a premium for it.”
Izzo acknowledged some people are upset about losing municipal parking.
“Even some of my own customers are upset,” he said. “It’s a change. But they will understand when they see there’s more freed up parking on the street.”
Izzo said he and a partner also have also owned a parking lot at the corner of Nelson Avenue and White Street for more than a decade.
“We kind of understand the business,” he said.
The businessman said he looked to Frank Parillo, one the biggest developers in the city who in 2012 purchased the former Saratogian newspaper building on Lake Avenue, where Parillo is using the parking lot for monthly and daily parking.
“He’s the one that kind of pointed us in that price point,” Izzo said.
Contact reporter Brian Lee at [email protected] or 518-419-9766.
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