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Michigan, USA – "Chaldean business owners prove they believe in Michigan. They put their money where their mouth is," says Ashley Hanna of the Chaldean Education and Career Center. "Despite the high business taxes and anti-business environment in the state, Chaldeans continue to reinvest, improve, and open new businesses in their local communities."
On Washtenaw Avenue in Ann Arbor, Mark Yaldo has committed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the community by becoming the new owner of an abandoned and blighted building on 3555 Washtenaw. Yaldo has been spending money all year working with contractors to open an improved and upgraded Marathon brand fuel station and convenient store.
Crews have been hard at work preparing to transform a once blighted building. The 1,450-square-foot retail property will feature high ceilings and the inside will be decorated with University of Michigan-themed art.
The exterior, Yaldo said, will get a new brick façade to more closely resemble the Arborland stores located just to the east. “We’re going to try to put a new face on the building,” Yaldo said. “… I’m going to be spending some money to make it look (good).”
Although fueling stations and convenient stores have been hit hard in Michigan, Yaldo remains committed to Michigan. The gas station industry has suffered in recent years, with this location among multiple local store closings resulting from the drop in national consumption. U.S. data estimated a 6.9 percent drop in consumption from 2007-2009; in Michigan, consumption fell 17 percent from 2004-2009.
These businesses have also been given the short end of the stick in regards to being overly taxed and regulated says Hanna. Nonetheless, Yaldo believes such businesses are community cornerstones and need local business champions to fight the good fight for the State. He also believes such businesses are on the front line of helping America make the switch to better fuel alternatives.
Yaldo envisions operating a green fuel center, adding E-85 fuel to the traditional fuel lineup for drivers that use the ethanol-based product. He expects more “flex fuel” options to be added as new technologies reach the U.S. auto market.
Yaldo, who is based in Bloomfield Hills is not new to Ann Arbor and owns five stations in Metro Detroit. Yaldo’s other businesses in Ann Arbor included ownership of Falsetta’s Market at the corner of Washtenaw and Pittsfield Boulevard.