North Bay Toyota will be moving ahead with the reconstruction of its Lakeshore Drive location. The project will not require Joseph Street to be closed. Photo by Phil Novak, BayToday.ca.
Joseph Street will not have to be closed to accommodate the construction of the North Bay Toyota showroom and service department, says Tim Falconi, the company's general manager.
Falconi said the project can now proceed with the acquisition of additional Lakeshore Drive property since the current plan does not include Joseph Street, which will remain open as a public thoroughfare.
A news release issued by North Bay Toyota states that the dealership had never submitted a formal application to the city for the closure and transfer of Joseph Street, "despite the perceptions of some members of the public."
"It was merely a proposal that some felt would improve the traffic and safety in the area. In keeping with their tradition of good corporate citizenship, an open house was held to ensure their neighbours were fully informed and given the opportunity to comment prior to deciding on a final course of action," the news release states.
The prospect that Joseph Street was even being looked had for possible closure had raised concern among area residents.
A public meeting to discuss the $1-million to $2-million proposal was held May 28, attracting more than 60 people.
"Im glad cooler heads prevailed," said Gladstone Avenue resident Lyle Davis, who had attended the meeting.
"People spoke their peace and dealership listened, maybe reluctantly, and secured more property, which is what they should have done in first place."
Davis gave an analogy to underscore his point.
"If somebody at Scollard Hall had wanted to block off O'Brien Street, there would have been quite a stink about it too," Davis said.
"So it was a foolish step to even try and I'm glad it's gone this way."
Falconi said Toyota listened to the suggestions brought forward during the recent open house, "and out of respect for the concerns raised by a few individuals we actively sought alternatives resulting in our current plan. We are looking forward to being able to offer our clients an even greater level of service in our new facility.”