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West Herr Automotive mulls options for Auction Direct site

Four months after completing its repurchase of the former Auction Direct USA dealership property on Transit Road in Clarence, West Herr Automotive Group is evaluating opportunities for future development of the site, but has not yet made any decisions.

West Herr, the region’s largest dealership group, bought the used-car lot at 5485 Transit Road, near Roll Road, from Rochester-based Auction Direct, paying $3.5 million. The property, next to West Herr’s Used Car Outlet store, had previously been owned and used by West Herr, but was sold to Auction Direct in 2010 for $4.14 million. Prior to West Herr’s ownership, the site was Saturn of Clarence.

Auction Direct closed the site in 2014 and consolidated its Western New York sales in Rochester, just three years after opening the location.

“We were offered the opportunity to buy (it) back at a very fair purchase price, considering the improvements that were made to the building,” said Scott Bieler, West Herr president.

West Herr doesn’t have immediate plans for the property in 2010. But West Herr needs more land for its own growing car sales business, especially for parking its large inventory.

“It’s harder to find a property that you can use for automotive sales use now,” said Robert P. Strell, the real estate broker who originally worked with Auction Direct five years ago., citing the difficulty of rezoning land.