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Longtime former car parts and repair shop slated for demolition, cleanup

A decrepit former used car parts building on a 6-acre East Side lot is slated for demolition, after the Buffalo Preservation Board on Thursday declined to take a stance.

Empire Building Diagnostics wants to tear down a one-story garage and car repair facility at 837 Bailey Ave., in one small part of a larger grass-covered lot.

Formerly J&J Auto Parts, the cement-block and brick 4,400-square-foot building still has fading and peeling paint on its front proclaiming the business as a "foreign car specialist," including for Jaguars and Mercedes.

Located near the Niagara Thruway at Dingens Street, the 6.15-acre property has been vacant since previous auto salvage and parts operations ended four years ago. However, it was used for car-related businesses since at least 1940, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, and was accepted into the state-supervised brownfield cleanup program for remediation in February 2016, making any redevelopment eligible for tax credits after the commercial-level cleanup is completed next year.

The site – which also includes 79 Dingens – was purchased in 2015 by the former owners of Buffalo Truck Center, Thomas Krug and John Sullivan, who had planned to move that business from Dingens Street around the corner and construct a 44,500-square-foot dealership and service center.

Buffalo Truck Center has since been sold, however, and neither Empire Building Diagnostics nor officials at the dealership knew what the new plans are. Neither Krug nor Sullivan could be reached to comment.

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