Not quite a decade after starting in the car business, Teresa Molinaro has decided to open her own used-car business.
“How many female-owned used car dealerships do we have in this town?” she says.
“I’m the only crazy one,” Molinaro said, jokingly.
Her 5 Star Motors will open next month in part of the former Gorges Motor space at 2648 S. Oliver.
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“I like the street appeal,” Molinaro says. “The parking lot’s huge.”
She plans to have a minimum of 100 cars on the lot.
“Used sales gets a pretty bad reputation,” Molinaro says. “I hate to look for used cars.”
She says she hopes to change that with an array of financing and low-pressure sales.
“I hope to help people get in a used car.”
Molinaro used to work for Star Motors on West Street.
She says they had talked about doing something of a rebranding for the dealership at the Gorges space, which led to the 5 Star name, but decided to make them separate businesses.
“Everyone’s on very good terms about doing this,” Molinaro says.
“I just decided to try it on my own instead of working for someone else.”
She’s doing just a bit of remodeling but wants to quickly “get things up and running.”
More remodeling will come later, including the addition of a shop for body work and repairs.
Molinaro bought half of the former Gorges dealership, which includes a 9,100-square-foot building on almost 2 acres.
She’s targeting a Dec. 1 opening.
“It will be a very, very soft opening.”
Molinaro plans a Feb. 1 grand opening.
Jake Ramstack and Carl Hebert of InSite Real Estate Group handled the Gorges deal.
There’s still a 12,000-square-foot building on 1 acre that’s left for sale.
“I was actually a salesman at the Gorges Motor Company at that dealership,” Ramstack says. “It’s kind of a funny side story.”
In his work brokering the space, Ramstack found plaques he’s on, “salesman-of-the-month type stuff,” he says, and business cards with his photo.
“It was pretty interesting to kind of go through the history of that.”