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Fast food may replace used cars on Erie Blvd.

Fast food may replace used cars on Erie Blvd.

City evicts two auto sales dealerships near Green Street
Fast food may replace used cars on Erie Blvd.
Steadfast Auto Sales in January 2017
Photographer: John Cropley

SCHENECTADY — Two of the three used car dealerships at the corner of Erie Boulevard and Green Street are gone, and the site is being eyed for a fast food restaurant.

The last of the vehicle inventory was removed last week from the former 1100 Erie Blvd. home of Wo-Po Auto Sales and Steadfast Auto Sales. The third dealership, at 1060 Erie Blvd. near the railroad bridge, sits on a separate piece of property that is up to date on its taxes and was not affected, according to Rachael Ward, the city’s deputy corporation counsel.

Ward said 1100 Erie Blvd. was owned by Frank Popolizio, who didn’t pay property taxes on it for years. The city moved to foreclose but got locked in a court battle over rights to do so with American Tax Funding, which the city formerly used to do its foreclosures.

On Feb. 28, Ward said, the city took possession of 1100 Erie Blvd.

The two auto dealers weren’t paying rent to the city, she said, as there was no lease. So, the city evicted them.

Steadfast has relocated to 1080 Central Ave. in Albany. Wopo’s Facebook page gives no indication of its current status.

Sale of the property, for $75,000, was approved in March by the City Council, in full satisfaction of unpaid taxes. The deal also is contingent on cleanup of soil contamination from a gas station that once sat on site, because the prospective buyer wants to put a fast food restaurant there.

The city is working with the state Department of Environmental Conservation and plans to start work after demolishing two offices on site.

“We want to move as quickly as possible,” Ward said. “We want to do it by winter.”

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