Company History

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Photo of Henry and Edsel Ford sent to Cherner Auto in 1939 along with congratulatory letter for hitting the 100 units mark in a single month.

The Cherner Development Group, now in its third generation of family management, first opened its doors in the mid 1920’s as Cherner Automotive Group, an early distributor for the Ford Motor Company. It all began when Leon Cherner and his brother Joe were selling and fixing bicycles on Florida Ave in Washington, DC. They were approached by Ford Motor Company with the fortuitous question “How would you like to sell cars?” The Cherner's went on to become the first Ford Dealership in the Washington DC area.

Ford letter to Cherner
Congratulatory letter from Henry Ford c. 1939

During the first 60 or so years prior to the current family control, the business relocated several times finally finding a home in what is now commonly referred to as Tysons Corner, Virginia. Cherner Automotive continued to flourish under the leadership of the next two generations, led by Harvey and his two sons, Andrew and Jonathan, receiving many dealerships accolades from Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Isuzu, and Kia.

Harvey Cherner (pictured left) in front of Cherner Ford dealership on Florida Ave. 1952

Under the leadership of the third generation of the Cherner family, Andrew and Jonathan began to expand their families holdings, while realizing diversification would be paramount to their continued success. The business grew to include multiple retail automobile dealerships, a collision repair business that employed approximately 250 people in 9 locations, and extensive commercial real estate interests and land holdings across the Mid-Atlantic. Highlighting their real estate holdings is a premier site in northern Virginia, which is currently in the zoning application process and will include 6 towers encompassing 2.75 million sq/ft of commercial and residential development.

Portrait of Leon Cherner

Today, Cherner Development Group continues to expand their automotive focused real estate holdings while remaining open to other strategic acquisition opportunities. The Company looks at new prospects with a long-term horizon in order to continue executing their strategy of developing and holding assets. Cherner Development has the capital, expertise, and flexibility to move swiftly when a new opportunity presents itself.