Open & Shut: 9-28-2009

Published in CSP Daily News

More c-store, station openings, closings, sales and more from around the nation

OAK BROOK, Ill. -- Once again, CSP Daily News is offering this update on many of the new-store groundbreakings, raze and rebuilds, openings, reopenings, rebrandings, closures and sales announced around the country by chains small, medium and large, and which have not otherwise been reported on a day-to-day basis. Especially on the independent operator level, this recurring feature provides a regular snapshot of the constantly changing retail marketplace that includes such outlets as convenience stores, gas stations, truckstops, travel centers and related locations.

While the recession has been a burden on many c-store and station owners and operators, surprisingly, based on an informal analysis of CSP Daily News' "Open & Shut" roundup, there have been fewer closings that might be expected; however, new-store openings do not seemed to have slowed down because of the bad economy. Of course, the stores listed here are only a portion of the total number of new and closed stores from around the nation.

California

Zigman/Shields General Contractors has recently completed the ground-up construction of the Terra Nova Service Station in Chula Vista, said The Daily Transcript. The project consisted of an entire demolition of the existing Shell station and c-store, including the fuel dispenser islands. The 9,000-square-foot facility will now be a newly designed independent station with a reconstructed fuel dispenser island; 2,600-square-foot c-store; a new 90-foot car wash; and significant site improvements. The $1.8 million project took eight months to complete. Malek Engineers of San Diego designed the project.

TMC Development, a certified development company providing Small Business Administration (SBA) loans in California and Nevada, has announced the closing of a $1.1 million real-estate purchase for Mansa LLC dba Kwikee Mart, a Napa, Calif.-based c-store. Owner Satindar Dhillon obtained an SBA 504 loan from TMC Development to purchase the acquisition of a 3,464-square-foot building.

Delaware

Wawa, Pa.-based Wawa Inc. opened a store in Wilmington on August 7, the company said on its website.

District of Columbia

A BP station has been rebranded as a W Express, according to WeloveDC.com. Mid-Atlantic Petroleum Properties LLC is the parent company of the Washingtonian Cafe & C-Store and the W-Express Gas & Go private brand of gasoline.

Florida

The former Chuck's Whiskey Creek Service station, which closed after business slowed during the summer and owner Chuck Fundermark lost the property to foreclosure in June, is reopening, said The News-Press. New owner Franklin Mulvihill has already begun servicing vehicles in the garage, although the Fort Myers station is not officially open. It will be renamed Whiskey Creek Service, with the separately owned c-store to be called Whiskey Creek Beverage. Mulvihill said the station should be officially open by October 1.

A Fort Myers Beach station in business for more than 30 years was shutdown in early September. In a surprise move, gasoline was sucked from the pumps, items were snatched from the shelves and the front door was padlocked at the Sunoco station, reported WBBH-TV. Deputies with the Lee County Sheriff's Office said they were enforcing the court order. "They told me I have a court ordertook all my merchandise and all my gas because you owe the gas company," said station owner Raj Faraj. Officials said Faraj owes Edison Oil Co. $130,000 for gasoline. He said he didn't know that he owed them.

The Hicks Service Center, which opened in 1969, will stop selling fuel at the end of September, said TCPalm.com. The repair shop will remain open, but the gasoline pumps will be removed in October. The station was affiliated with Phillips 66 until the early 1990s. Since then, it's been an independent. It is closing because of new state regulations that require double-lined storage tanks. Gas stations have until the end of the year to comply. The owners estimate it would cost at least $300,000 to replace the tanks. Scott Hicks, who took over the day-to-day operations from his father, Roger, four years ago, said he thought putting in new tanks. But he realized he can't justify it financially, given their level of business. Inside the station, next to the refrigerator, are four lawn chairs. They are set up facing each other, and they are full a half-dozen times a day, Scott said. "They have the longest fill-up you've ever seen," he said. "They'll spend an hour here."

One of the oldest minority-owned businesses in the state of Florid has closed. Elmore Bryant has closed Marianna BP after 50 years in business, reported WJHG-TV. He bought the station at a discount in 1957, making it the first station in the neighborhood during the days of racial segregation. "This BP gas station became so much more than just a business. Elmore Bryant used it as a platform to help the community. He often gave money to customers to help them feed their families or pay their bills," said the report. Bryant said, I've bought everything from baby diapers to paid light bills, water bills, I've shared what we had here."

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