Residents unhappy about the Firestone auto repair shop’s peeling paint and unkempt exterior on Lake Street will not see a renovation of the building before the year’s end, despite promises from management.
Firestone manager Martin Brown said Friday that the store at 226 Lake St. will seek approval from the village for renovation plans later this year that will include exterior and interior improvements. In late April, Brown said the renovation, which includes exterior and interior remodeling, would be completed this summer. Five months later with no work done, Brown said the hold up is due to the Firestone corporate office choosing to undergo a more extensive renovation at the Oak Park location.
Several other Firestone locations in the Chicago area received smaller-scale remodeling this summer. But because the Oak Park store was slated for a larger renovation project, work on the building is delayed, Brown said.
“It’s still in the works. This store is going to be more involved than the other stores’ renovations. They had an architect down here a month and a half ago,” he said. The renovation will include knocking down some interior walls, moving the restrooms, new lighting fixtures and painting the exterior of the building, said Brown. 
“It will just be a major plus for the community and our customers. It will allow us to display our merchandise better and offer a nicer waiting area for our customers. Now it’s just a matter of when,” he said.
However, a Firestone corporate spokesperson said Monday that the planned renovation is no longer under consideration in the foreseeable future.
“It has been postponed indefinitely. It’s not going to happen this year,” said Vicky Condell, of BFS Retail and Community Operations.
Residents who live near the Firestone say they have waited for years for Firestone to improve the looks of the building’s exterior. They say Firestone’s back-and-forth promises are smoke screens.
Some residents say they want Firestone management to paint the exterior, clean up trash outside the building and improve the overall look of the business that has existed at the location since the 1920s. 
Evan McKenzie, who lives on Randolph Street just a few blocks from Firestone, called the business an eyesore. “We drive past it twice a day. It appears to me to be a dilapidated building. It’s the sort of thing that you see in a deteriorating neighborhood.”
With Dominick’s recent improvements to its parking lot and a promised $2.2 million store renovation, McKenzie and other residents say they’d like other area businesses to clean up their acts.
Brad Killam, who lives near the Firestone, said the company is a bad neighbor. He said he didn’t believe Firestone’s promise for a renovation earlier this year. “It is so nasty. They are not concerned at all about the appearance.”
Residents have complained about the number of cars Firestone employees park on village streets without proper permits. In addition, residents pointed out that pedestrians use of the sidewalk, particularly young students, is blocked. “It’s a 12-hour a day traffic jam at the intersection,” said McKenzie. “That intersection is very, very dangerous for kids. The vision is always obstructed by cars that park there. They’re servicing all these cars and dumping them in the street.”

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