October 23, 2018

Harr Motor Group's new owner buys property for $14M

PHOTO/SAM BONACCI
Charles Ribakoff, right, stands with Michael Gross.

Harr Motor Group in Worcester has officially been sold to company President Michael Gross from longtime owner Charles Ribakoff.

The transition is reflected in a $14.3 million land deal for three separate parcels of land on which the nearly 11-acre dealership sits on Gold Star Boulevard. The land was purchased by MG Gold Star Realty LLC, an entity registered to Gross.

Gross' purchase of the property closed Monday.

Gross, when reached by phone Tuesday, said the transaction for the actual business closed in December. He did not provide the price of that transaction.

The transition of the business was set in motion about seven years ago when Ribakoff agreed to pass the business on to Gross, the company's general manager, over a seven-year period.

Pursuant to that deal, Gross is now the majority owner with a 75-percent stake in the company, while Ribakoff will stay on as the minority partner.

That December deal included terms allowing Gross to purchase the real estate.

Gross had been in the car industry since his early 20s, and after working his way to a general manager's position at a dealership in New York. When he was hired by Ribakoff as president and general manager in 2006, he was looking for a dealership to take over.

Gross, the new owner of the dealership, has no immediate plans for an expansion or addition of a new brand.

"This is the business I've been running for many years now," he said. "I don't really have any other plans than to continue what I've been doing."

Gross played a leading role in turning Harr into a negotiation-free dealership in 2011, which he said has helped the store to grow.

"Fortunately, we've been able to attract some talented people that really like the way we do business," he said. "It's helped us to grow to where we are today."

Ribakoff purchased the business in 1999 from his father, who had owned the business since 1948.

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