October 29, 2018
CENTRAL MASS IN BRIEF

Harr Motor Group changes hands

PHOTO/WBJ FILE PHOTO
Charles Ribakoff (right) stands with Michael Gross at Harr Motor Group.

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 on Oct. 22.

Gross 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.

The business had been in the Ribakoff family for 70 years, as Ribakoff's father purchased the business in 1948. The younger Ribakoff then bought the business from his father in 1999.

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. He entered into an agreement to take over that dealership, but the plan fell through and Gross began looking for a leadership position at another dealership.

That led him to Harr, he said.

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."

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