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Ellicott, Avalon complete deal on downtown properties

Ellicott, Avalon complete deal on downtown properties

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The two properties on Main Street and Pearl Street, formerly home to Schmidt's Auto and Collision Masters on one side and Hertz Rent-A-Car on the other, are being acquired by Ellicott Development Co. and Avalon Development.

William Paladino and Chris Jacobs have completed their $3.1 million purchase of a pair of downtown commercial properties  including a former Schmidt's Auto Service location. 

Paladino's Ellicott Development Co. and Jacobs' Avalon Development acquired the properties at 736 Main St., 538 and 554 Pearl St. from 740 Main Street and from Alex and Mark Schmidt. Their joint venture, Pearl Franklin Holdings, completed the purchase just over two months after it was unveiled.

The 15,200-square-foot Main Street facility  a former Schmidt's Auto location  is on 0.82 acres south of Edward Street and across from Avalon's headquarters. The 6,000-square-foot Pearl building  across the street from the back of the Schmidt's property  houses a Hertz Rent-A-Car business that is expected to remain on the 0.82-acre site.

Former owner Mark Schmidt put both properties up for sale, and he received bids from both Ellicott and Avalon. Avalon had the higher offer, but the Covid-19 pandemic prompted Jacobs' partners to pull out, so the congressman turned to Paladino for a partnership.

Paladino said the duo plans to eventually redevelop the properties into something more, but will just look for a new tenant for the other space for now.

"We're just going to sit and wait to see what we want to do with it," he said. "We just think it's a nice strategic piece of property downtown, between 500 Pearl and what Chris owns on the 700 block."

The deal marks the second time Ellicott and Avalon have teamed up in recent months. The duo are converting the former 2.5-story Holloway Stables building at 138 Allen St.  also known as the P.L.U.M. Works building  into 22 market-rate apartments and commercial space. The $5.5 million Allentown project calls for 4,300 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, with 11 apartments on each the first and second floors.

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