The New York Times today published my latest piece in the Business section. Subject: What happened to all of those new car and truck dealerships that closed in the last several years. The crux of the piece, which focused on a closed dealership in Whitehall, Michigan is this: Since early 2009 some 2,300 auto dealerships have closed around the country, as new car sales plunged more than 40 percent and the government, after taking ownership stakes in General Motors and Chrysler, forced them to end longstanding franchise contracts. The closings put 70 million square feet of buildings and land on the market, according to CoStar, a commercial real estate research company based in Bethesda, Md.
But in the last five quarters 649 of those shuttered dealerships found new owners and were put to new uses. In the first quarter of this year, 152 dealerships were sold for a combined total of $300 million. Prices ranged from $500,000 to $9 million, Mr. Miller said, though most sales were for $1 million to $3 million.
See more here.
— Keith Schneider