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Flushing Ford dealership closes after four decades

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Despite attempts to keep it open, Flushing's Monahan Ford dealership has officially closed, and its landlord is in the process of selling it.

Although the Ford Motor Co. had hoped to keep the dealership open, the corporation was unable to reach a deal with its bankrupt owners. Now the two Monahan properties are in the process of being sold, said Jack Hall, an attorney for the landlord.

"I doubt (the properties) will be a dealership," Hall said.

After operating in Flushing for more than four decades, Monahan Ford filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October. On Feb. 14, the company went into Chapter 7 liquidation.

With the liquidation, both the sales office at 150-05 Northern Blvd. and the parts and service center at 37-20 Prince St. closed for several days. The two properties, like the franchise itself, are owned by members of the Monahan family.

Richard McCord, a trustee for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Eastern District of New York, assumed control of the franchise and soon reopened both locations, operating with a smaller staff.

McCord kept the franchise open with the hopes of its remaining a Ford dealership. Ford had expressed interest in keeping the location, and McCord was negotiating the sale of the franchise to several different parties, he said.

But Ford and the landlord could not reach an agreement on a lease, and the deal feel through, McCord said. McCord then decided to close the dealership in the middle of May.

"(Ford) really wanted to keep it there," McCord said. "It's a good location. But they couldn't reach an agreement."

The dealership is $4 million in debt, McCord said. Most of the money is owed to the Ford Motor Credit Corp., the company that makes loans to Ford franchises.

Monahan Ford had pushed to make capital improvements to its property that it could not afford, said Lisa Golden, an attorney representing the company.

Between the eventual sale of the properties and equipment and revenue made while the dealership was under McCord's control, the dealer's creditors will receive most of their money back, McCord said.

"I am very positive about the results," he said.

Hall said he expected the deal to sell the two properties would be closed in the fall. He said he did not know anything about the potential buyer.

Some northeast Queens residents expressed disappointment at the closing.

Stanley Cogan, president of the Queens Historical Society, came to the dealership three weeks ago for a 15,000-mile checkup for his Taurus, which he purchased at Monahan.

Cogan was surprised to find the shop empty.

"I was in a state of auto shock, you might say," he said.

Reach reporter Alexander Dworkowitz by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300 Ext. 141.

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