CITGO, Eight Mile Group Partner to Reinvigorate Neighborhood

Published in CSP Daily News

Upgrades to Detroit CITGO stations part of ongoing investment

DETROIT -- CITGO Petroleum Corp. and Detroit-area fuel suppliers have launched a partnership with the Eight Mile Boulevard Association (8MBA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to revitalizing and promoting the Eight Mile corridor. The ongoing efforts will infuse four locally owned CITGO stations with assistance in an effort to boost the local economy, revitalize the local community and encourage growth and prosperity.

"We know what a central role gas stations and convenience stores play in a community and the impact these upgrades can have. We hope these changes will inspire [image-nocss] other businesses to make positive changes as well and keep up the momentum to improve this area," said Gustavo Velasquez, vice president supply and marketing with CITGO. "CITGO and our local business partners see a tremendous amount of potential in the Eight Mile corridor. We are proud to partner with business and community leaders at 8MBA in this effort."

Beginning in June 2011, CITGO will support the owners and operators of four local CITGO stations as they invigorate their stores and help infuse pride in the community. Motorists and local business partners will see the dramatic improvements in the locations such as new pumps, improved lighting, technologically advanced signs and canopy and building designs in the new CITGO design. The stations, located along the Eight Mile Road between Interstate 94 and I-275 in the cities of Detroit (two locations), Ferndale and Warren, Mich., are locally owned, like each of the more than 6,000 CITGO stations throughout the United States.

Other improvements to these stations will include upgrades to c-store facilities and restrooms, along with revitalization of parking areas and new landscaping features. Each station owner has also made a commitment to keep the location clean once the changes are made. In all, the investment will create cleaner, safer, and more environmentally friendly service stations with the aim of fostering greater pride and investment in the community.

"Despite the hardships that local residents have faced in recent years, we are confident that the tide is turning and prosperity is on its way back," said Tami Salisbury, executive director of the Eight Mile Boulevard Association. "Through public and private partnerships and the dedication of local businesses, like the local CITGO marketers and retailers, we are encouraging growth, improving lives, and bringing back the strength to Detroit and surrounding suburbs. The backing of CITGO is a testament to the deep commitment to growth in our area. We look forward to expanding our partnership and making an even greater positive impact in years to come."

The stations are operated by local residents and are supplied by local CITGO marketers Barrick Enterprises, Bazzi Oil & Gas, RKA Petroleum Cos. and Knight Enterprises. All of these fuel suppliers support a wide range of charity, community and economic programs throughout the region and are actively working with the community on other initiatives.

"These service stations have been a part of the Eight Mile community for many years. The local operators and employees have been dedicated to providing the best products and services to our local customers," said Bob Barrick, president of Barrick Enterprises, Royal Oak, Mich. "We are proud that the individual store operators have joined with us and CITGO in this initiative to revitalize the community. We are confident these moves will help usher in a new era of prosperity for the area."

(8MBA is a nonprofit organization formed in 1993 to revitalize and promote the Eight Mile business, transportation and residential corridor between I-275 (west) and I-94 (east) by linking the public and private sectors.

CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by PDV America Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela SA, the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.