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Carbone Dealership Empties Lot

Andy McKeever

 NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — All the cars at Carbone Ford-Mercury on Route 2 should be gone by the end of the weekend.

On Friday, staff began driving the vehicles to a brand-new $4 million location in Bennington, Vt., which will open on Monday. Carbone Auto Group purchased the former Haddad dealership about two years ago and constructed the new location adjacent to its current Toyota lot on North Bennington Road.

"We are moving cars as we speak," said Michael Larochelle, a sales associate for Carbone, on Friday. "We should be completely out this weekend."

Carbone Ford-Mercury is the latest Berkshire County dealership to close. The dealership will reopen in Vermont.

Closing the State Road location has been in the works for about three years. In 2008, Carbone purchased the dealership from Haddad Motors with the plan of moving it to Bennington. The company was expecting construction to last shortly more than a year.

Construction on the new 27,000-square-foot showroom began in April and was not expected to be complete until the spring 2011. Ahead of schedule, the dealership will have a soft opening on Monday.

"It's a brand-new location. I think I heard it cost $4 million," Larochelle said. "I assume they'll do some type of grand opening."

New car dealerships have continued to leave the county, or consolidate. North County is now down to three new-car dealerships — K&M Toyota in North Adams, McAndrews-King GMC in Adams and the massive Bedard Brothers Auto Sales in Cheshire.

In 2007, Bedard Brothers Auto Sales purchased and consolidated Gateway, formerly known as Shapiro Chevrolet, on Union Street. That dealership was added to the company's Cheshire location. In 2009, Berkshire GMC in Sheffield closed when GMC closed 1,100 of its dealerships.

The dealership at 179 State Road was known for years as Dick Scarafoni Ford and later as Calgary Motors. Carbone's consolidation leaves another large, empty commercial property in the city. The former Gateway site still has not found new tenants although it is being used for leasing vehicle storage space. Both locations are owned by Scarafoni Associates.

Tags: North Adams, Dealership, Closing      

Pittsfield Movie Gallery Closing

Staff Reports

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city's losing one of its video rental stores with the closing of the Movie Gallery on Dalton Avenue.

Movie Gallery Inc. filed for reorganization of its American holdings under Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the beginning of February and announced the closure of nearly a third of its Movie Gallery, Hollywood Video and Game Crazy stores across the United States.

According the restructuring announcement on its Web Page, Movie Gallery said the liquidation and closures of 760 stores are "because they are not profitable and because funds from liquidating them can help us moving forward."

The Dalton Avenue store is selling off its inventory and should close within four to six weeks.

The closings do not affect the Hollywood Video on Merrill Road or the Movie Gallery in North Adams in the L-shaped mall. Also closing is the Movie Gallery at 68 Mohawk Trail, one of two Greenfield, and two stores in the Albany, N.Y., area.

Movie Gallery is the second-largest video and game renter after Blockbuster but it's been hammered by changes in rental services, particularly by upstarts like NetFlix and Redbox. This is the company's second bankruptcy in the past three years. The first shuttered at least 400 locations including the Movie Gallery in the Stop & Shop Plaza in North Adams.

The company, which once had more than 3,000 stores, expects to reduce to a stable "core" of 900, which means more closures are likely. The chain had $129 million in losses in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Tags: closing, bankruptcy      
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