As a newly minted adult, at the age of 18, Tom Gill arrived in America with nothing but seven dollars in his pocket and a drive to succeed. He had left his home country of India at age 16, and explored the world a bit before arriving all alone to a brand-new frontier, America.
Gill’s days were filled with work- driving a cab and working at gas stations. He worked 24 hours a day, six days a week, napping in his cab between customers to keep up his energy.
Today, Gill is enjoying the fruits of his labor. When he takes a shift at a gas station, it is a gas station bearing his name. Gill owns several businesses near Highway 43 on Main Street in Belgium, including the BP Gas Station and building, the Mobil Station building, and the building currently occupied by Subway and Style, Beauty and Wellness. In total, he owns more than ten acres in the Belgium business district.
As he looks forward to retirement in the next couple years, he is starting to hand the reins over to his son, Freddy.
“I’m looking forward to being around Belgium and building the business up here. I’d love to build a strip mall or pavilion but need to get the empty spaces filled first,” explains Freddy.
The next generation of the Gill family is excited to continue the family legacy by building a successful Plaza area. He has tenants lined up to open a restaurant in the space formerly occupied by Say Cheese (attached to the Mobil Gas Station building) later this year.
The opposite end of that building, formerly the Mobil Station, could serve a variety of uses. “It could be anything from a car dealership, repair center, or laundromat. We’re still deciding and would love input from the public,” requests Freddy.
Within the next six months, there are plans to put in new, pay-at-the-pump off-brand gasoline at the former Mobil Station that would be less expensive for customers.
The Gills are currently working on finding the perfect business for the 1200 square foot space located at 139 Main Street, next to Style, Beauty and Wellness, which has been used as Bee’s Bakery and Jitter Beanz Coffee Shop in the past. The Gills are offering rent for just $800 a month to help a new business establish itself, with the first three months free, if the renter commits to a 15-month contract.
“There’s a nice sized lobby or dining area. The room formerly used as a kitchen has hookups for electric, gas, and plumbing. This space would make a great office space for an eye doctor, a chiropractor, credit union, or even a coffee shop,” muses Freddy.
He points out what a great location it is. It is located a short distance off Hwy 43 right on Belgium’s Main Street, next to a busy Subway restaurant, and Style, Beauty and Wellness, which is a “fantastic salon in town, offering a variety of services- haircuts, nails, and massage,” Freddy describes.
With so many plans taking shape, it appears the younger Gill has the same work ethic and drive as his father did at his age.
“My Dad has helped me create my future career here in Belgium,” says Freddy. “I have some big shoes to fill.”