More in Business:
By Mike Hazlip—
Over the past year, Citrus Heights native Ronald Dillman and a business partner have been working with the city to revitalize a plaza on Auburn Boulevard, bringing new life to an aging property.
Aloha Plaza, located at 7530 Auburn Blvd., now features an upgraded facade, a new patio with outdoor seating, a repaved rear parking lot with new fencing, and more improvements planned for the future. The plaza is home to Extreme Martial Arts Center, as well as American River Provision Catering.
Although he now lives out of state, Dillman has deep roots in Citrus Heights and maintains his connection to the city. In an email to The Sentinel, he recalled playing in the area, attending Sylvan Middle School and later getting involved in martial arts. He also raised his five children in Citrus Heights.
“As a kid I used to take scrap wood from a building when it was first being built to build forts. I now own that building, Aloha Plaza,” he said. “I have truly come full circle on historic Auburn Blvd.”
Dillman said “a huge blessing” for his efforts to improve Aloha Plaza was meeting and collaborating with the city’s Economic Development Department. The city offers an “Activate Auburn” program, which assists with matching grants for facade improvements up to $20,000, along with matching grants for new signage for businesses along the boulevard.
One piece of history incorporated into Aloha Plaza’s design is a large planter and bench in back of the building that originally was part of Birdcage Walk, now the MarketPlace at Birdcage. Dillman said his uncle was the head of maintenance at the former outdoor shopping plaza and gave him the planter and bench when the plaza was renovated. Also in the back, visitors will see fencing with historical imagery.
“Our plaza is set up for local community members to come and enjoy lunch and events with an Aloha spirit of love and kindness for all Ohana’s,” he said.
Additional photos of the Aloha Plaza can be seen on the city’s Facebook page.
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