Car Dealer Buys Land Off East State Street In Athens

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An Athens businessman has purchased a 32-acre site off East State Street, but plans for the property have not been announced.

Don Wood bought the land from Century National Bank for $350,000, according to records in the Athens County Auditor's Office.

The property is located west of AutoTech Service Center, on the south side of the Route 33-50 bypass, according to maps on the auditor's website, which also indicate that access to property is from the road serving AutoTech and the Super 8 motel.

Don Wood Automotive has several new car dealerships in Athens, including Toyota, Ford and Hyundai, all on East State.

Wood and his son, Jeff, did not return phone messages Wednesday seeking comment.

Meanwhile, another car dealer has apparently decided not to purchase property he had under option on East Street.

Last November, The Messenger reported that Mark Porter, of Mark Porter Autoplex on East State Street, had an option to buy property where the New Market, the former Maplewood Inn and Buckeye Building are located off East State, as well as two adjacent vacant lots.

Amy Hutchinson, who owns the property, said Wednesday that Porter did not exercise his option to purchase the five pieces of property.

Porter did not return a phone message Wednesday seeking comment. Last November, Porter declined to comment on why he had the option on the East State property.

Mark Porter Autoplex, which sells used cars, is located in the building that once housed Larry Schey Chevrolet.

Schey lost his General Motors franchise after GM announced in 2009 that it had notified about 1,100 dealers that they would be dropped as part of a plan to put the company on better financial footing.

Athens currently does not have a GM dealership.