Open & Shut: 11-16-2009

Additional c-store, station openings, closings, sales from around the country

Published in CSP Daily News

OAK BROOK, Ill. -- "Open & Shut" is CSP Daily News' occasional roundup of some of the many new-store openings, reopenings, groundbreakings, raze and rebuilds, rebrandings, closures and sales taking place around the country by chains small, medium and large that have not otherwise been reported.

Especially on the independent operator level, this recurring feature provides a snapshot of the frequently changing retail marketplace that includes such outlets as convenience stores, gas stations, truckstops, travel centers and related locations.

Alabama

The former Merle's Truck Stop near Montgomery, closed for two years, reopened in September, said The Montgomery Adviser. The facility, now called Maverick's Truck Stop, is under the new ownership of Joe Garner hopes, who is making extensive improvements made to make the roadway in front of the business safer. The previous incarnation was considered a traffic hazard. The most significant changes are the lighting added along the highway and the new fixed routes for truck drivers entering and leaving the truckstop. Previously, truck drivers would do U-turns on a whim, Garner said. He said he has spent about $5.5 million on the project, and about $300,000 of that was because of a delay that kept him from opening last year.

Arizona

Indy Car Wash and lube shop in Mesa added gasoline in mid-October, it said on Twitter.

Circle K Stores of Tempe purchased 3.2 acres of vacant land in Marana from a private seller for $2.15 million in early November, said The Arizona Daily Star, citing the CoStar Group. The property surrounds an existing Circle K building. Using the new land, Circle K plans to build a new 4,500 to 5,000-sq.-ft. c-store with 12 to 14 gas pumps. The new site will be an upgrade over the existing site, which currently features a 2,800-sq.-ft. building with two gasoline pumps.

California

A Chevron station under construction in San Luis Obispo is slated to open in January, said The San Luis Obispo Tribune. The station will feature a 2,112-sq.-ft., 24-hour c-store with 11 parking spots and existing gasoline bays plus four new diesel pumps. The previous station closed in October 2008. Rob Tachovsky, who owns two Chevron stations in Paso Robles and one in Pismo Beach, has partnered with Ricky Fleischer to form Mission Station Inc. to operate the station. The firm has a 34-year lease on the property and has budgeted $1.4 million for reconstruction and site improvements. The new station will employ nine or 10 people. The c-store does not have a license to sell beer and wine, but the owners hope to have one by the time the store opens.

A San Jose Shell station closed earlier this month, said The South Winchester News. Ramin Kouchesfahani, operator of Winchester Gas & Quality Auto, is uncertain of the future of the station. "There are few contract issues with Shell that are being worked out. I am sure it will emerge as a gas station again, but under what name no one knows at the moment," he told the paper.

In late October, the La Jolla Chevron service station became an Extra Mile c-store, said The La Jolla Light. It now offers "high-end coffees and hot and cold specialty foods, lottery tickets, beer and wine," said owner Chris Medeiros. "It's...a brand new building, a remodel, with more things available." He said the remodel [does not] involve increasing the square footage of the building, but gutting it and making it over, keeping the back walls intact. The location closed for several days, but opened a temporary kiosk. The entire remodel is expected to take about three or four months.

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