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Wednesday, 21 December 2011 21:34

Old Auto Body Shop on Yates Street in Albany, NY Undergoes Rehabilitation

Once in smithereens, now ready for business, the old auto body shop at 703 Yates St. is rehabilitated and owner, Robert Savoca, is excited to see an auto body shop return to the Pine Hills neighborhood of Albany, NY.

The process to change the auto body shop back to a safe and functional establishment wasn’t quick, or easy. Since Savoca is also the owner of Central Crossings; a construction company on 5 Lombard St. in Schenectady, his arsenal is well-equipped to take on all kinds of structural challenges.

When he bought the garage from Mella Weaver for $55,000, he said it was a disaster. “The building was a complete mess. No heat, no running water, leaky roof, broken windows, uninhabitable that’s for sure,” Savoca said.

The property also had electrical issues, no exterior or interior lighting, perforated floors and walls, bad plumbing and the basement floor had to be resurfaced. According to Savoca, all of these structural abnormalities cost him an additional $50,000 to repair, and took about 90 days for his crew of carpenters, roofers, plumbers and electricians to finish all of the projects.

Savoca, who owns Fort Orange Motor Car at 551 Central Ave. in Albany, has experience in the auto repair business and was familiar with the old Yates Street garage.

He said that the Pine Hills is a great location for a new auto body shop because there is only one other body shop in the neighborhood limits —D & S Body Shop on 465 Jay St. Also, because an auto repair business has thrived there for so many years, whoever plans to reopen one is almost guaranteed business, he said. Savoca also mentioned that a shop in that location would directly benefit residents and students who might need to have their cars serviced.

“I drive an old 1996 Saturn that breaks down all of the time,” said Kayleigh Buboltz, a neighborhood college student. “If there was a shop closer to me, I could have saved a lot of money on towing costs.”

After the rehabilitation was complete, Savoca hired Brandon Bellamy, a licensed salesperson at IKON Realty Group, LLC to help lease the property. According to Bellamy the property has been available to lease since October 18. Ikon plans to lease the property for $1,550 a month. The garage includes a basement and first floor equaling out to about 1,368 square feet. Other features include an overhead garage door, 1 1/2 bathroom, and one office on each floor. The property also comes with a private parking lot that holds up to 10 vehicles.

Bellamy has encountered multiple customers interested in renting the property. Unfortunately these potential tenants all possessed ulterior motives to turn the building into something outside of the auto repair business.

According to Savoca, customers wanted to convert the garage into a hamburger hotdog stand, a fish fry and a hair salon. He declined their offers.

Since the day Savoca bought the debilitated property, he envisioned a new and improved auto body shop and has no desire to lease to customers who suggest otherwise.

“I don’t think I found the right person to sell it to, so I’ll just wait until they come along,” said Savoca.

Potential buyers, or those interested in leasing the property, can contact Bellamy via telephone, 518-456-5440 ext. 14. Or you can reach him online at:

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