One year after asking Dorr Street business owners to clean up the appearances of their businesses, Toledo Councilman Wilma Brown yesterday honored 17 businesses for doing just that.
Ms. Brown, who represents District 1, launched the effort in August, 2002, after being disturbed by garish colors and rundown conditions along the busy city street. At that time, she warned that businesses that did not improve would be cited for violations of the city's building code.
John Yarad, owner of Excel Automotive & Battery Co., 3135 Dorr, repainted his business from canary yellow to a more subdued gray.
“Everyone in the area went to one color,” Mr. Yarad said. “We just need more police protection in the area,” he said, citing three recent vandalism attacks on his property.
Ali Ibrahim, owner of King Boulevard Market and Our Time carryout, both on Dorr, said he was happy to upgrade his building appearance, but said Dorr still needs more official attention.
“There's a lot of good change happening, and it sounds like there is going to be more change,” he said. “Dorr Street needs some more decoration, just like the door of a house needs some trim.”
Ms. Brown said the awards recognized businesses for painting in earth tones, complying with the city's sign code, and doing landscaping. “Several businesses did not participate and they will be cited,” Ms. Brown said.
She said the city has applied to the Ohio Department of Transportation to widen Dorr Street between Westwood Avenue and 17th Street.
A ceremony was held on the vacant lot where national basketball standout Jimmy Jackson of Toledo plans to open a “car spa.” The $790,000 venture will offer car detailing and repair, vehicle rental and sales, cell phone services and sales, and a pizzeria. The city is loaning $100,000 to the venture.
Businesses honored were Extra Touch Auto Care, Custom Body Shop, King Boulevard Market, Our Time Carryout, F-American Properties, H.P. Streicher, Inc., TireMaxx Tire Center, Grifols BioMat USA, Humphrey Bogart Sign Co., Marathon Rocket Fuel, Mac's Motors, Mike Whitmer's Auto & Marine, Excel Automotive & Battery Co., Kwik Kleen Car Wash, Secor Carryout, Jerusalem Grill & Bakery, and Laskey Plaza.