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F. Rizzo Construction

F. Rizzo Construction will move its headquarters from 162 York St. to Commerce Way in Auburn. 

AUBURN — F. Rizzo Construction will be moving its headquarters from its York Street location — but it won't be going very far. 

The construction company purchased two parcels of land at 2 and 4 Commerce Way, next to Volpi Manufacturing in Auburn Technology Park, from the city of Auburn in November 2017.  

The Rizzo family has owned the construction company since 1965, owner Kevin Rizzo said. The family also started another businesses, called Upstate Paving. Salvatore Rizzo, Kevin's father, and one of his brothers jointly owned the two businesses. Six years ago, they split the businesses and Salvatore took full-ownership of Rizzo Construction. When Salvatore passed away in July 2016, Kevin said his uncle activated a buy-sell agreement and bought out his part of the real estate at the 162 York St. headquarters. 

When it came time to decide where he wanted to move the company, Rizzo said he really wanted to stay in Auburn.

"I could have moved out in Throop or wherever but I wanted to stay in Auburn," Rizzo said. "I care about this city, I love this city and I wanted to stay in the city."

He approached city officials and asked if there was any land they would be willing to sell him so he could keep his family's business in Auburn. The city agreed to sell Rizzo nearly 3.5-acres of land for $20,000. 

The land Rizzo purchased is assessed at $80,000. City Manager Jeff Dygert said the city agreed to sell the land at a discounted price because it has been sitting vacant for "many years" and there hasn't been much interest in the property. 

"Helping a local company stay local is a good thing," Dygert said. "We try to take into consideration what the entire impact will be, not just the value of the property in its current condition, but what it will be when built out. There's other value in keeping jobs and businesses in the city."

Rizzo said the company will build a new office and garage on the land, which are expected to be complete by the end of the year. He said he hopes the new location will help grow the company to what it once was. 

"Because the company is as old as it is, we've gone through these cycles where there's a rebuilding stage because of the changes of ownership and being in businesses so long," Rizzo said. "Right now, we're in a rebuilding stage. There was times where this company would have 50 employees and there's times where we would have less than 20 and I fully intend on growing. Definitely."

F. Rizzo Construction now employs about 24 people, Rizzo said, and gets all its work through competitive bidding. Currently, the company is working on the Genesee Street paving project in Auburn and a water main update in Fair Haven. 

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Staff writer Natalie Brophy can be reached at (315)282-2239 or natalie.brophy@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter @brophy_natalie

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