Denny Hecker's former Southview Chevrolet dealership in Inver Grove Heights will reopen Monday as Mauer Chevrolet.

The operation was revived by former Hecker employees Billy Mauer -- brother of Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer -- and John Vecere, who are leasing the building from General Motors and rehiring about 45 former Hecker employees who were let go when the dealership closed.

"The greatest feeling is that we are able to hire most of [our former co-workers]," said Vecere, who had been general manager at Southview for about a year. "Our employees will be people who lost their jobs in that whole [Hecker] thing. So this is really an exhilarating feeling."

Billy Mauer played minor league baseball for three years before getting injured and switching into a career in autos. He had worked as a sales manager at the Southview dealership and spent about six years in the industry.

"I love the automobile business, and I love my hometown," Mauer said in a statement. "Bringing the two together is a phenomenal way to start the new year."

The store was one of 26 that Hecker was forced to shut or sell after losing various lines of credit and falling behind on debt payments. Hecker filed for bankruptcy in June 2009, claiming $787 million in debt and $18.5 million in assets.