Tallmadge -- A vacant building on West Avenue will once again house a business after K&D Auto Sales opens in January.
Now that business partners Don Zimmer and Kevin Zheng obtained an auto dealer's license and occupancy permit, they plan to open the used car dealership at 280 West Ave. sometime next month. The dealership is located between the former Rocky's Skating Center and Rocco Plaza.
The 600-square-foot building used to be home to a custard shop.
Zimmer and Zheng, the only employees of the dealership, are building up the inventory of cars and will focus on buying and selling inventory, handling paperwork and customer service. Their goal is to hire up to four additional staff members as the business grows.
"Our projection is to try and sell at least 50 cars a month, possibly more," Zimmer said.
Ultimately, the pair would like to make the dealership successful enough so that they could hire employees to manage it and Zimmer and Zheng can expand by opening another larger dealership in Canton under the same name.
They chose to open their first dealership in Tallmadge because Zimmer is familiar with the area and it's a convenient location for both him and Zheng to commute to. Zimmer lives in Kent, and Zheng resides in the Green/Uniontown area.
Zimmer thinks the dealership on West Avenue will take off because competition breeds success.
"It's kind of strange. Car dealerships are one of those things when there's more car dealerships closer to each other, everybody seems to do well because people seem to know one location to go shopping for cars," he said. "Like in Bedford there's got to be at least 30 car dealerships altogether."
In preparation of the opening of the business, the parking lot has been repaved and minor repairs and painting of the building have been done.
The partners also recently leased a property off of East York Street in Akron where sometime in the future they plan to have a shop that performs minor mechanical repairs on and details the vehicles they sell. Some vehicles also will be sold from this location under the K&D Auto Sales name, but the shop won't be available to consumers.
Drive-thru restaurant in the works
The small drive-thru at 284 West Ave., next to the dealership and the former home of a coffee shop and a cupcake shop, may also find new life as a sushi and taco restaurant.
Zheng and his brother, Jacky Zheng, of Akron, hope to open "Jacky's Sushi and Tacos" sometime next month.
Like his brother, Jacky Zheng has worked in the restaurant field, and when the opportunity arose for them to open another, they grabbed it. Zimmer and Kevin Zheng lease both of the buildings for the dealership and drive-thru from the owner of the property, but Zimmer won't otherwise be involved with the restaurant.
No changes will be made to the drive-thru other than adding a grill and coolers to cook and store the food.
Zimmer said an exciting possibility is for the restaurant to close one of the two drive-thru windows in the spring and set out tables with umbrellas and chairs for customers to eat outside during the nice weather. Customers would be able to walk up to the open window to order food.
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Facebook: Holly Schoenstein, Record Publishing Co.