Chevrolet-Saturn of Harlem
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Chevrolet-Saturn of Harlem, Inc. was a car dealership in the East Harlem neighborhood in New York City. Originally touted as a minority-owned dealership and part of the only new-car facility in Harlem, it was abandoned by its original operator within months and was taken over by General Motors directly. On 1 June 2009, it was used as the lead company in the General Motors Chapter 11 reorganization filing in New York.
The Harlem Auto Mall opened in February 2006 but had its ceremonial opening on 2 June 2006. Located between 2nd and 3rd Avenues at 127th Street in East Harlem, it was the largest dealership complex in Manhattan, the only new-vehicle dealerships north of 57th Street, and the first new-vehicle dealerships in Harlem in 40 years. Run by Otis Thornton, a black man and Buick dealer in East Brunswick, New Jersey, the Chevy and Saturn dealership in the Mall received attention for being a large, new minority-owned business: the opening was attended by Jesse Jackson, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, General Motors chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner, New York City Economic Development Corporation president Andrew Alper, and New York City Department of Transportation commissioner Iris Weinshall. The dealership was funded with $60,000,000 in private investment and $17,000,000 in tax-exempt empowerment zone bonds from the NYCEDC's New York City Industrial Development Agency, used city-owned land leased through the adjacent car dealer in the Harlem Auto Mall, and was advertised by the city government as "bringing 150 new jobs to Harlem to date with expected growth up to 200 jobs".
On 1 June 2009, Chevrolet-Saturn of Harlem was the first GM company to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy, in order for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York to obtain jurisdiction over the entire General Motors Chapter 11 reorganization. General Motors Corporation and its other subsidiaries filed in the same court moments later. The same morning, despite the filings, a man at the dealership told the media he was the dealership's "owner" but refused to identify himself or comment on the bankruptcy.
- Sawyers, Arlena (5 June 2006). "A Harlem renaissance for autos; Neighborhood gets first new-car stores since '60s. (Planet Automotive Group Inc., Otis Thornton opens)". Automotive News (Detroit, Michigan: Crain Communications). Retrieved 2009-08-25.
- Sawyers, Arlena (12 March 2007). "Harlem GM store loses black operator. (Chevrolet-Saturn of Harlem)". Automotive News (Detroit, Michigan: Crain Communications). Retrieved 2009-08-25.[dead link]
- Torres, Joe (2 June 2006). "Harlem takes another step up the economic ladder: Two GM owned delerships open on 2nd Avenue & 127th Street". WABC-TV (New York City). Retrieved 2009-08-25.
- "Mayor Bloomberg, Congressman Rangel and General Motors Chairman Wagoner Celebrate Opening of New Harlem Dealerships" (Press release). City of New York. 2 June 2006. Retrieved 2009-08-25.