SILVER SPRINGS SHORES — A Firestone Complete Auto Care Center is slated to open here in April, according to the project contractor.
The 7,000-square-foot building at 30 Bahia Avenue Lane — on the north side of Maricamp Road just east of Walmart — will feature seven auto repair bays and parts sales, according to Ken Tomlin, owner of Great Southern Constructors, general contractor for the project.
According to Bridgestonetire.com, Bridgestone purchased Firestone in 1988, making the combined operations “the world’s largest tire and rubber company.”
“Bridgestone Americas established its headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee in 1992,” the website states.
An email inquiry to Bridgestone Americas about the new center was not immediately answered.
A Bridgestone Retail/ Firestone Complete Auto Care Center currently operating at 212 N. Pine Ave. in Ocala offers tires, batteries, brake work and additional repair services.
In an email, County Commissioner Craig Curry stated: “(W)e continue to encourage commercial businesses to come to the Silver Springs Shores community, where infrastructure is already established.”
“A lot of people in this area have to travel long distances to get to work, and new businesses offer more job opportunities closer to their homes while helping build the county’s economy,” he stated.
Earl Williams owns Krystal Automotive, which also features U-Haul truck rentals. Krystal is a family owned company at 7299 E. Maricamp Road, about a mile west of the new Firestone.
Williams said he has “no fear” of losing his established customer base with the arrival of the new auto care center. But Firestone’s move does signal growth in the area.
“Those companies (like Firestone) do a lot of looking, and it means good growth,” he said.