Developer Parillo buys Saratogian building, former GMC dealership

Developer Parillo buys Saratogian building, former GMC dealership

June 22, 2012
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Developer Frank Parillo recently bought two prime pieces of commercial real estate in Saratoga Springs, the Saratogian building, in the background, and the former Topper Pontiac-Buick-GMC dealership on South Broadway. The newspaper will continue to use the building and is leasing the site from Parillo.

Frank Parillo spent $4.85 million on two properties in Saratoga Springs within the past few weeks boosting an already sizable real estate portfolio but he doesn’t know what he will do with either purchase.

Parillo owns the Wilton Travel Plaza truck stop and two marinas on Lake George. He also is a partner in the Hampton Inn hotel and High Rock condominium complex in Saratoga Springs and the Saratoga Strike Zone Saratoga Strike Zone Latest from The Business Journals Saratoga developer buys former Topper dealershipSnack maker signs on with Williams-Sonoma, Cracker BarrelBusinessmen find snack maker a tasty investment Follow this company bowling alley.

Add to that list the 1-acre parcel at 20 Lake Ave. where The Saratogian newspaper has been based for more than 100 years, and the former Topper Pontiac-Buick-GMC dealership at 135 S. Broadway.

Parillo, through Saratoga Prime Properties LLC, recently closed on deals to purchase the properties for $2.6 million and $2.3 million, respectively.

No development will happen at The Saratogian property for at least three years. The newspaper will continue publishing and will lease the office building and parking lot during that time.

Parillo also is thinking longterm about the former car dealership.

“It’s another valuable commercial piece,” he said. “It’s a gateway to Saratoga and lends itself to a lot of different uses. We’ve had a lot of interest in it.”

The Saratogian property was not publicly listed for sale. Parillo said he approached the newspaper’s owner, Journal Register Co. Journal Register Co. Latest from The Business Journals MediaNews Group, Denver Post parent signs NimbleCommerce for daily dealsDenver Post executives get new duties with parent company19 Denver Post news staffers accept buyout offer Follow this company , and management firm, Digital First Media, more than a year ago to gauge their interest in selling.

“They made up their mind it was best for them to divest themselves of some real estate,” Parillo said.

It’s unclear if there were others trying to buy the property. Joe Miller, vice president of real estate at Digital First Media in New York City, could not be reached for comment.

Parillo has no specific plans to redevelop the property, but said the location was too good to pass up.

The site is a block off Broadway and kitty-corner from the Hampton Inn and High Rock condo project that Parillo owns with hotelier Mike Hoffman and builder Matt Bette of The Bette Cos. in Latham.

“I just think it’s a good location and a nice piece of property,” Parillo said. “We’ve got three years to decide what we’re going to do.”

The land and building also are across from the proposed Pavilion Grand, a 55,000-square-foot, mixed-use development on Lake Avenue being pursued by Dean DeVito and Ken Raymond of Prime Cos. in Latham.

Pavilion Grand would have 48 Marriott ExecuStay corporate apartments and about 8,500 square feet of retail space.

“We’re trying to break ground, hopefully in the next month or two,” DeVito said. “We still have to finish up the financing. We have a lender but it’s just a matter of finishing the process.”

DeVito declined to reveal the total cost of the project.

It was originally envisioned as a $22 million, 70,000-square-foot building with condos, retail and office space, but the plans were changed after the recession hit.

DeVito is encouraged that Parillo bought The Saratogian property.

“Frank is the type of guy who knows things are going to turn around,” DeVito said. “He buys stuff, and when the time is right, he does something with it.”