Orlando, Florida (PRWEB) October 07, 2013
The Kazarian building, built in the 1970s by Ralph Kazarian, respected local insurance salesman of the Orlando area, is the most notable and visible site at the corner of Mills Avenue and East Colonial Drive. Today, the 30-foot structure has at last been renovated, and its distinctive billboard has come down, all thanks to another local business, iFixYouri, which looks to further rejuvenate a neighborhood already on the rise with a modern business idea and an attractive storefront.
iFixYouri, a smartphone and mobile device repair shop, which also maintains stores in East Orlando and Altamonte Springs in the Central Florida area, will be celebrating the launch of their new location on Colonial Drive with a Grand Opening event open to the public, replete with entertainment and refreshments, in line with their overall vision of revitalizing the community and bringing both businesses and people together.
“About 10 years ago this was getting to be a bad part of town,” says Christopher Johncke, founder and operator of iFixYouri, “but recent efforts by Commissioner Patty Sheehan and Mills 50 District Director Joanne Grant have made the district a popular up-and-coming place.” Johncke had the idea to renovate the store in line with the the trend of attractive new businesses, but wanted to maintain the history of the building.
“The city was telling us that we had to take down the Kazarian signage, which was unfortunate because that was part of the appeal to the building and part of what made it an iconic spot in the past,” explained Johncke. Working with city planners, they derived a solution from compromise, and created the new storefront now visible.
As well as preserving some of the history of the site, iFixYouri wanted to place their own stamp on the present and future of the area by commissioning a mural along the side of the store. Notable local artist Andrew Spear, who has created artwork in the Steelhouse building, the Amway Center, and numerous others, painted a stylish mural that reflects both the hi-tech sensibility of a smartphone repair shop and the changing nature of the neighborhood.
As a UCF alumnus, Johncke is familiar with the recent changes to the downtown area. “A number of my employees are UCF alumni as well, and we’re all working on growing a great business to help and give back to the community where I spend a lot of time.”
“The [Kazarian] building had been empty for about six years,” continued Johncke. “There was graffiti on the walls. It was not a very welcoming place. We've changed that. It's clean and safe now.” He went on to note: “This area has some great bars and some of the best restaurants in Orlando - the Mills 50 District is definitely where we wanted to be. This area is on the rise. Good business and the right people driving it in the right direction.”
The grand opening is slated for October 18 at the new location.
1200 E Colonial Dr
Orlando, FL 32803