Open & Shut: 7-19-2010

A roundup of station, c-store openings, closings from around the nation

Published in CSP Daily News

OAK BROOK, Ill. -- "Open & Shut" is an 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 in CSP Daily News.

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.

Please [image-nocss] send your store openings and related announcements to Greg Lindenberg at glindenberg@cspnet.com, www.twitter.com/glcspdn or www.facebook.com/glcspdn.

Alabama

A Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores location opened for business in Steele in January; it held a grand-opening event last Friday, said The St. Clair Times. The facility includes a c-store and two restaurants. In addition to cutting the ribbon to open the store, Love's donated $1,000 to Steele Junior High, as well as the As, a local baseball team sending four all-stars to the Cal Ripken state tournament. A Love's also opened in Evergreen in mid-June on I-65 and Highway 84 at exit 93. This location includes an Arby's, the company said on Facebook.

California

Closed for several months, the Chevron station in Redding is under new ownership, The Record Searchlight said in late June. Hilltop Chevron is owned and operated by Rodney and Marjana Lloyd. The station's grand opening is expected to be celebrated in July. The station also features a c-store and eventually will sell beer and wine.

New 7-Elevens have opened in Pacoima, Los Angeles and Huntington Beach on June 3, July 9 and July 10, respectively, 7ElevenSoCal said on Twitter.

After 42 years, Commuters Shell Service in downtown Palo Alto has shut down, said KGO-TV. The owners said they were forced to close in late June because Shell decided to pull out of the partnership, revenue was down and paying for the lease was just too much for the aging owners.

The Money, Gas & Food gas station and food mart that has been fenced and empty for about three months in Thermalito is not closed due to any environmental problems, but because the owner left, reported The Rorville Mercury-Register in late June. Butte County Environmental Health official Mike Huerta said the closure is "absolutely not" related to any environmental issues, and that the business was up to date on all required testing and reporting. "All we know is the previous owner left; he defaulted," Huerta said. The business was owned as Texaco Food Mart until May 2007. Texaco does not appear to have any current ownership of the site.

Ord Market in mid-June marked the return of gasoline services to civilians on the former military base at Fort Ord, said The Monterey County Herald. The market has added Shell gasoline and U-haul. The station previously located at the Ord Market site was for military use and was closed by the Army in 1994. A nearby station remains open for military use only.

Colorado

A woman who once owned and operated Grand Lake's Lakeview Conoco station has come out of retirement to reopen the location, said The Sky-Hi Daily News. JoAnn Miles, once owner and operator of the Conoco until she sold it in 1999, has regained ownership and planned to reopen doors for both the liquor store and c-store starting on June 4. The store has been closed since at least March. Miles owned and operated the store from 1988 to 1998.

Connecticut

Torrington A new gas station recently opened in Torrington, said Good News About Torrington over the Fourth of July weekend. The station offers drinks and snacks, as well. It will have a grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the next few weeks.

Owner/operator Al Waters, 67, is retiring and selling his Al's Mobil station in Cromwell, said The Middletown Press. The location closed on June 28. The station will undergo renovations and then reopen under new ownership as a c-store. The negotiations for the sale took place "in a matter of about two weeks," Waters said. "I couldn't ask for better negotiations." Waters said he is proud "I'm retiring, I'm not closing." The decision was driven by a heart attack he overcame some 18 months ago, and the likely future of the car-repair business. "In the foreseeable future, I don't see the repair business getting better," he said.

The Food Mart c-store in New Milford received a major face lift in April, said The New Times. The store owned by Bharat and Tina Patel was severely damaged just after Thanksgiving when a pickup truck crashed through the east side of what was a wooden, box-style building dating back to the 1950s when it was a gas station.

Florida

7-Eleven, Longboat Key's only 24-hour convenience store, a 7-Eleven, has closed, reported The Longboat Key News in late June. 7-Eleven officials said the property owner, Reid Savidge, was unable to renew the lease, but they did not know the details as to what other plans Savidge may have for the property.

More than three years after Thijs Stelling set out to rebuild Melbourne Beach's only gas station amid strong opposition from some in this beachside community, the building is almost ready for customers, Florida Today said. The station, c-store, deli and mechanics' baywhich will replace the 40-year-old station that stocked a few convenience items behind a counterwas expected to open in late June. The old 1,800-square-foot Chevron station made way for a 4,335-square-foot building with lap siding and a metal roof. The station will now become Exxon. Stelling partnered with Harbor Petroleum in the new venture, in which Stelling said $2 million was invested. He has added six more employees for a total of 12. "It's Key West style, what we proposed," he said. "Most people say it doesn't look like a gas station."

Georgia

A Raceway gas station was a total loss after fire burned the walls and roof of the building in late May, said The Covington News. The contents of the station were a total loss. There was also major damage to the structure itself, including the roof, as well as water damage. It is unclear when or if the station will reopen.

Illinois

A former Pizza Hut location in Rockford is now City Market c-store, reported WREX-TV in early July. It is run by a local family group that also owns other c-stores in the area.
A south Oak Park gas station closed suddenly in early June, said The Journal of Oak Park & River Forest. Spray-painted letters across the window and plastic-covered gasoline pumps announced that the BP is no longer in business. The owner, Jojomo Mathai, declined to comment. Adelfo Rodriguez, who owned the repair shop, said the owner had been negotiating with BP for the past six months to purchase the property. When a deal could not be reached, the business was forced to close. The current property owner is listed with the county as Angel & Associates LLP, St. Charles. The company bought the station from BP Products of North America for $297,000 in December. The station was negotiating to purchase the property, but a deal fell through, said David Powers, village spokesperson. The business license for the BP expired in December.

A third Casey's General Store will open in Jacksonville, reported The Journal Courier on June 2. The store will have about 3,900 square feet, making it considerably larger than the city's other Casey's stores. The new Casey's, which will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week, will have six gas pumps and serve made-to-order sub sandwiches.

Iowa

The former Heritage Express c-store in Sioux City has reopened under a new name: Sam's Mini-Mart. It becomes the third Sam's location in Sioux City, reported The Sioux City Journal. Heritage Express, part of a chain owned by Ho-Chunk Inc., the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska's economic development division, had shut down the pumps in March. Ho-Chunk continues to operate six other Heritage stores, including four located on tribal land.

After a two-year drought, plans are under way to bring a c-store to New Hartford. Joe Simon told The WCF Courier in mid-June that he is building a roughly $1 million store with gasoline and diesel service. It will include a 3,500-square-foot building. He hopes open by Labor Day, he said. Simon is still seeking investors for the business venture, which will offer "a few more groceries than a typical [c-store]" as well as prepared food and capacity to seat 25 people.

Kansas

Casey's General Stores said on Facebook that it will open a c-store in Haysville on August 5.

Kentucky

Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores in Waddy is now open, on I-64 at exit 43, the company said on Facebook in late May. This location includes both a Subway and McDonald's.

Maryland

In early May, Matthew Kohlhoss, vice president of NorthMarq Capital's Washington, D.C., regional office, arranged first mortgage financing of $8.32 billion for a portfolio of five owner-occupied gas stations located in suburban Maryland and northern Virginia, said Citybizlist Real Estate. Financing was based on a 10-year term with a 20-year amortization schedule and was arranged for the borrower, PMIG LLC, by NorthMarq through its relationship with John Marshall Bank.

Michigan

A Barry County gas station and c-store owner is bringing back a once-popular store in Isabella County's Rolland Township, reported The Morning Sun. Robert Goldsworthy, a Marathon dealer with stores in Hastings and Hickory Corners, has purchased the former Uebele's. He opened Goldsworthy's No. 3 last week. "We did a major facelift, inside and out," he said. "We remodeled the whole inside." Already stocked with some grocery items, such as jerky and other snacks, the store has opened without beer or wine sales, but Goldsworthy hopes to have the license to sell alcohol soon. He said the store will sell convenience items, gasoline including diesel, soda, candy and grocery products.

Minnesota

A new gas station/c-store in Detroit Lakes in mid-May that will include a Tires Plus, said DL Online in late May.

Koch 7 LLC purchased 4355 State Highway 55 in Medina from West Triangle Corp. on May 17 for $937,000, reported Finance & Commerce. "We bought the building and the land and lease part of the building to Liquor Depot. The rest of the building is a gas and [c-store]. Previously, it was called Little Jack's Corner. The new name of the store is Koch's Corner. As for changes, I'm getting new cash registers any day and upgrading the restrooms," said Herb Koch, the new owner. Sean Schumacher, owner of the Liquor Depot said, "I've been leasing for about three years. Nothing has changed for me except my landlord, Herb Koch, who added bait and tackle to his gas station/[c-store]."

Missouri

A Carthage station has a new owner, a new name and is getting a new look, reported The Carthage Press in late June. New owner Danny Mers is revamping the station, which will be named "The Corner." Formerly known as "Tiger Alley," the station has sat idle for months. Mers is adding a canopy above the fuel pumps, as well as 15 350-watt lights for security. He is also adding a new handicapped-accessible ramp, altering the drive-thru window and changing the color scheme to red and yellow. Mers said he wants to open in mid-July.

Rhodes 101 opened a new c-store in Cape Girardeau on June 24, reported The Southeast Missourian. "One of the first features of this new site that our customers should notice when they arrive is the amount of room provided around our property," said Keith Boeller, president of Rhodes 101 parent company PAJCO. "This should make navigation around our dispensers, store and drive-through very customer friendly." The new store includes a refrigerated beer cave. The 101 Cafe features food-to-go options with a roller grill that will offer taquitos, sausages and hotdogs, along with hot breakfast sandwiches. The restrooms also have been upgraded from other Rhodes 101 stores to feature marble tile and granite counters.

New York

The site of a long-vacant clothing shop in New City is being reborn as a 7-Eleven reported The New City Patch.

The pumps are back on at the Stewart's Shop in Philadelphia, N.Y., the company said on its website. The shop recently underwent a full gasoline remodel that included new 5,000-gallon gasoline tanks and dispensers. Orange Lake and Troy stores are currently being remodeled.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held on July 14 for the new Owego Super Mart c-store and gas station, which is under new management, said ABC 34. Owners Colin Wolfe and Todd said the location offers grocery, deli, beer, tobacco, lottery and an ATM. There is a cafe with made-to-order subs and pizza, iced coffee and tea.

Wilson Farms executives and local dignitaries marked the official grand opening of a remodeled Wilson Farms store in Attica, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 30. The renovated location was expanded by 860-square feet, which includes a new six-door walk-in freezer and nine-door walk-in cooler. New checkout and beverage cabinets were installed along with an updated interior decor package. The exterior received a facelift with a new stone facade that matches several other updated Wilson Farms stores throughout the state. The parking lot was repaved, adding six spaces. Wilson Farms branded fuel is also offered at this location, an update from June 2008. An expanded product line now features freshly made subs, sandwiches and salads as well as pizza, F'Real milkshakes and Pepsi fountain beverages. The produce, dairy and frozen lines were also expanded. Wilson Farms Inc. invested more than $420,000 into the location, the first Sugar Creek store to be transformed into a new Wilson Farms.

The old Sam's Lakeside Restaurant property in Brewerton will be home to a new Nice N Easy c-store, reported WSYR-TV in early June.

Glider Oil Co. Inc. in Oswego is no longer functioning as a gas station and is for sale, reported Oswego County Business in mid-July. "The tanks got old, and we made the decision to take the tanks out and convert it to a different use," said co-owner Gary Shanley. "We're now talking with a couple of people to put some businesses in there."

A new Byrne Dairy has officially opened in Pulaski, marking the 45th location in central New York, said Oswego County Business in mid-June. The new store has a gas station, ice cream shop, deli and groceries. The owner of the Byrne Dairy franchise is Vincent Byrne, with his two sons, president Carl Byrne and vice president Mark Byrne. The new store is 43,000 square feet and has 25 employees. It took about two years and more than $1 million for the new location to finally open up. It has only been a month since the last Byrne Dairy opened in Geneseo, and the family plans on opening three new locations every year.

North Dakota

Don's Car wash broke ground on its new facility in South Fargo in mid-June, said WDAT-TV. The new location will also include a 5,000-square-foot c-store. A gas station will also be put in offering ethanol blender pumps. The new center will be open in February 2011.

Ohio

A Chagrin Falls BP station officially closed June 14 and will be replaced with a Waterway Car Wash, reported The Sun News Waterway Vice President Michael Goldman the car wash will also have gas and a c-store with food, coffee, fountain drinks, traditional snacks, grab and go products and gift items. Goldman said the entire project including construction, demolition, site purchase and other cost factors added up to between $4 million and $5 million.

Pennsylvania

Sheetz is building a c-store east of Greencastle, said Public Opinion Online. It will not replace the Sheetz on the west side of Greencastle. Sheetz also has proposed building new stores in Greene Township and Guilford Township.

A two-member partnership will open a c-store and deli in part of the former In Town Tire & Auto Care building this in mid-June, said The Altoona Mirror. Kerry Weathersbee and Dave Imbrenda have renovated the former waiting room of the auto-repair shop so they can sell items like bread, milk, cold drinks, snacks, newspapers and subs, Weathersbee said. The INTOWN Convenience & More was slated to open in late June in the 1,450-square-foot store.

In Altoona, the BP Oil & Subway sandwich shop was expected to close, The Altoona Mirror reported. An employee told the paper that the shop will close by the end of June.

All In Ones, an American/Indian c-store opened in May, reported The Chambersburg Public Opinion. It carries food, drinks, personal care items, fresh produce, cigarettes, candies, ice cream, cereal, gum, soda, lottery tickets and jewelry. The store offers a wide range of Indian foods, drinks, desserts, snacks, and cooking ingredients such as spices, flour, rice, noodles, mixes, sugar cane, cooking oil and other Indian grocery products. Sunil Kumar and his wife Meena Laroiya own the business. "This way, people can know more about Indian culture," Laroiya said. "A lot of people know Indian food, but once people come here they can see how to make it for themselves."

Tennessee

A few months after signing a lease to open a Z-Market c-store in unincorporated southeastern Shelby County, the tenants have bought the property for $1 million, said The Memphis Daily News in early June. Ziad S. Ozrail and Mohd Hassan bought the former Advance Auto Parts store May 24 from The Phillips Group Inc. Built in 2005, the 6,942-square-foot retail store sits on 0.94 acres. The Shelby County Assessor of Property's 2010 appraisal is just shy of $1 million. For the 10-year lease/purchase agreement inked earlier this year, J. Max Hamidi of RE/MAX Elite represented the tenants, and Dan Whipple of Crye-Leike Commercial represented the Lexington, Ky.-based landlord/seller. The buyers financed the purchase with an $800,000 loan through Southern Bancorp Bank.

Texas

Stripes announced on Facebook in early June the grand opening of c-stores in Iraan and Fort Stockton.

Virginia

A 7-Eleven opened in Alexandria near the headquarters of the National Association of Convenience Stores in early June, NACS said. Customers were treated to 11-cent Big Gulps, Slurpees and coffee, as well as free samples of 7-Eleven's proprietary sandwiches, frozen ice cream treats and cookies; free UTZ potato chips, Twinkies and more. A DJ spinning tunes, a masseuse and the Geico Gecko also greeted customers.

In early May, Matthew Kohlhoss, vice president of NorthMarq Capital's Washington, D.C., regional office, arranged first mortgage financing of $8.32 billion for a portfolio of five owner-occupied gas stations located in suburban Maryland and northern Virginia, said Citybizlist Real Estate. Financing was based on a 10-year term with a 20-year amortization schedule and was arranged for the borrower, PMIG LLC, by NorthMarq through its relationship with John Marshall Bank.

West Virginia

Matt Jones, president of Finish Line Inc., has purchased land with plans to build a c-store, reported The Parkersburg News & Sentinel in early June. Jones purchased part of the John Chalfant property, buying five parcels of land. His goal is to erect a Finish Line c-store on the site and possibly a car wash. Jones has two other stores in the area. Jones' Finish Line stores house Taco Bell, Subway, Domino's Pizza and Charlie Biggs Chicken franchises. Bob Black, the attorney representing John Chalfant, said the property was sold Wednesday for $400,000.

The Mid-Atlantic Market & Fireside Cafe opened in Cheat Lake in mid-June, reported WBOY-TV. The c-store offers regular grocery items along with specialty products and about 200 varieties of wine. The market also sells its own private label items.

Please send your store openings and related announcements to Greg Lindenberg at glindenberg@cspnet.com, www.twitter.com/glcspdn or www.facebook.com/glcspdn.