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Cleanup lets dealer proceed on showroom

Cleanup work was completed last week on a brownfield project that will allow for the construction of a car dealer's new showroom.

Basil Toyota bought the neighboring former Gambino Ford property at 6157 S. Transit Road last year.

Owner Mike Basil said asbestos in Gambino's former showroom and service building was removed in February, and the structure was torn down in March.

After that, it was necessary to remove some soil contaminated with hydraulic fluid and other petroleum products where Gambino's former service area stood.

"There were some preliminary tests done when we were actually getting serious about [buying] it," Basil said. "We bought it as-is with foreknowledge and some pretesting."

Basil bought the vacant dealership for $975,000 at a foreclosure auction after a bank called Gambino's mortgage. Gambino Ford closed in early 2009.

Basil said the demolition and cleanup cost him as much as $250,000, but as a willing participant in the state Department of Environmental Conservation's brownfield cleanup program, the Toyota dealership receives business tax credits.

Greg Sutton, regional hazardous waste remediation engineer, said in an e-mail to The Buffalo News that the project involved "investigation activities, including the installation of soil borings and monitoring wells, and collection of sediment samples from sumps and catch basins."

The cleanup work included the removal of hydraulic lifts and excavation of contaminated soils, Sutton wrote.

Basil is adding onto Gambino's former rear service building to create a 40,000-square-foot showroom and service facility, targeted to open in September.

"We're going to be able to service our customers a lot faster," Basil said. "We've only been in business nine years. It's a good problem to have."

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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