Pardon Me, Harlem Luxury Car Dealership?

March 3, 2008

Future Lenox condo.

Future Lenox condo.

A Lamborghini dealer to the stars is moving his Long Island exotic car business to the ground floor of a new Harlem condo tower this summer, gambling on the cultural cachet of a neighborhood that, even in better economic times, wasn’t exactly Rolls-Royce territory. Macky Dancy, part owner of Dancy Power Automotive Group, will in June open his exotic car dealership on the ground floor of the Lenox, developer Joe Holland’s new 12-story, red-brick condo building at the corner of 129th Street and Lenox Avenue.

Mr. Dancy will park about a dozen cars in the 11,200-square-foot space, ranging from the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe (priced at an otherworldy $300,000 plus) to the relatively homely Mercedes Benz.

For the sake of comparison, apartments at the Lenox range in price from $813,000 for a two-bedroom (the cost of about two Maybachs) to more than $1 million for a penthouse triplex (or about five Bentleys).

Mr. Dancy, who spoke with The Observer from his white Cadillac Escalade, said he wasn’t concerned that the depressing economic forecast would imperil his investment. “Recession-like times don’t affect my client base,” Mr. Dancy said. “When you’re dealing with the exotic car market, they’re kind of recession-proof.”

He said that client base includes the upper crust of the hip-hop world, from Jennifer Lopez to 50 Cent. Neither of their publicists responded to requests for confirmation.

But one of Mr. Dancy’s partners is Rick Caplan, whose business The New York Times Magazine in 2002 said “customizes exotic cars for rappers like Busta Rhymes, Puffy, Nas and Lil’ Kim.”

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Mr. Dancy said he’s been in the exotic auto business for three years, and the car business for 12.

So why Harlem?

“We came up with the idea to start a dealership in Harlem because of its culture,” said Mr. Dancy. “I’m not expecting the guy around the corner to buy a Ferrari from me.”

That’s probably wise, at least according to a gentleman folding clothes on Sunday afternoon at the Clean Rite Center across the street from the future dealership.

“Half the people around here are on public assistance,” said Antony, who declined to give his last name, but identified himself as the laundromat’s assistant manager. “Who around here can afford these cars? Drug dealers?”

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