Activity could be picking up at the 926 E. 10th Ave. lot that was home to Hinton Cleaners for more than half a century before that business closed its doors in 2018.
Briefly home to a Trailer Mart location after Hinton Cleaners closed, the 0.45-acre lot was sold in May and is now the site for a used-car business called Fine Motors.
Fine Motors owner Yousef Jasim, a native of Iraq who has been in Bowling Green since 2011, is leasing the property from Chris Robertson, owner of Bowling Green’s Robertson Auto Sales.
Robertson, through his CSR Investments limited liability corporation, purchased the property at East 10th Avenue and U.S. 31-W By-Pass from Hinton Cleaners for $350,000.
Jasim, who worked at Kaiser Motors on Morgantown Road before launching his business, is renovating the former dry-cleaning building. He has created two garage bays in the building but said they are strictly for working on the used cars he plans to sell.
Jasim plans to sell primarily cars with rebuilt titles, and he already has a dozen or so on the lot.
“I did a lease for 10 years,” he said. “I plan to stay here a while. It’s my first business, and I want to put my full effort into it.”
The used-car lot will be a big departure from the property’s past.
Hinton Cleaners was a fixture in Bowling Green. The business was started in the 1920s by Floyd Hinton and continued through the Great Depression and World War II but couldn’t survive the modern evolution of clothing styles.
Tommy Hinton, the third-generation owner of the business, said in 2018 that a movement toward more casual clothing spelled the end for many dry cleaners.
“We just don’t have the customer base and the volume we used to have,” Hinton said at the time. “We probably do about 10% of what we used to do.”
Jasim doesn’t expect such vagaries in his line of work, and he plans to keep a variety of vehicle types in order to satisfy all tastes.
“Every week I’ll get a new collection of vehicles,” he said. “I want to keep it fresh and try to have a bit of everything.”