“We will soon be able to do collision and body work, paint, and sell accessories and retail,” said Jamil Chehab, 24th and Lapeer Auto manager.
The Port Huron planning commission recently approved adding automotive repairs at the business. Within the next month or so Chehab expects the commission to approve adding a paint booth to the shop as well.
Once approved, it won’t take long to make the needed upgrades to the 5,000-square-foot building. Chehab estimates the shop should be fully operational with the new services by the end of the year.
“Once we’re approved for paint, then we will start buying the materials and tools we need,” he said. “Our building is a good enough size so we don’t need to add on to it, we just have to install a paint booth inside and add in new equipment.”
He said the building’s electrical structure will probably need to be updated as well.
The expansion will also call for an additional three employees — a mechanic, a detailer and a painter-body shop worker. Currently the shop has six employees.
Applications will be accepted starting in October. Interested applicants can drop off their resume to the shop in the next month.
“The expansion will help our business in the long run,” Chehab said. “We were feeding the grape one piece at a time. Since there was a needs here and business was good we could expand.”
Ahmad Chammot, 24th and Lapeer Auto owner, said he has owned the liquor store next door to the auto shop, the Liquor Locker, for 15 years. When he was given the chance to purchase the property for the auto shop, he went for it.
“When you have an idea, you go for it,” he said. “The opportunity came up and we decided to expand.”
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