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Developer Proposes New Gas Station On Route 111

The five-bay station would be next to Rite Aid pharmacy.

A five-bay gas station with a canopy and an attendant's kiosk is being proposed at 528 Monroe Turnpike, between the existing and pharmacy and across the street from Shopping Center.

Tim Onderko, an engineer hired by Monroe Gas LLC, told Architectural Review Board members at their Tuesday night meeting that the pumps could accommodate 10 cars at a time and would not have diesel fuel for trucks.

While the attendant in the kiosk would sell items like gum and motor oil, Onderko said no convenience store and no service garage are being proposed as part of the plan.

"It's about as bare bones as you can get," he said.

Fascia Board at the top of the approximately 18-foot-high canopy would be used for signage and to hide mechanicals. The kiosk would have a bathroom for the attendant — not the public. The site plan also includes a parking area, a driveway and a Dumpster enclosed with cedar board.

Onderko said a landscaping plan that includes deciduous trees, ornamental grasses and other plantings would be a significant visual upgrade.

If it is approved, Onderko said the hours would likely be 6 a.m. - 11 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday. He added that a tenant has not been found yet. The gas station would have no connection to the existing Shell station next door.

Utilities and a tank would be underground and the developer would secure a water main extension on Route 111 to bring water to the property, Onderko said.

The property had been used as a home-heating oil terminal from 1962 - 1988 before there was environmental remediation and fill was brought in, according to Onderko, who said the parcel has since been dormant.

It is owned by 528 Monroe Turnpike LLC of which David Sippin is a member. The architect is Antinozzi Associates, based in Bridgeport.

The plan will come before the Inland Wetlands Commission for a hearing at 7 Wednesday tonight, and would also need site plan approval from the Planning & Zoning Commission. It is before the Architectural Review Board for a letter of recommendation on the design.

Onderko said Connecticut Department of Transportation approval is needed for the driveway, which would be another curb cut along the state highway of Route 111.

ARB members asked about what colors the canopy could be and Onderko said warm grays or taupe would likely be used — something similar to Rite Aid and Gaslight Square.

When asked if the canopy had to have a flat roof Onderko said, "There are gas stations that put roofs on top of a canopy. To me, it's like a building on stilts that's not a building."

The canopy would have LED lighting that shines down on the gas pumps.

ARB members seemed to favor a hearty plank skin on the canopy and kiosk and wood panel trim work wrapped around the steel columns. Antinozzi Associates will come before the ARB at its meeting next Tuesday to present some schemes and ideas for a canopy.

dolphinlover January 11, 2012 at 05:44 PM
maybe it will be a Stop & Shop gas station since the wonderful shell across from Big Y does not accept the points. That would be beneficial because it would force the other gas stations to be competitive in pricing, which is a win for us all. Knechts Shell across from Home Depot accepts the points however they jack up the price to compensate for the points as does the Shell on Rt.25. It also would be better than having another dry cleaners or pizza place in town.
QWERTY January 11, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Force this gas station to be open 24 hours! For once please add something of value to the community. Competition between gas stations is non-existent...the price of gas isn't going to go down because another station is opening up. I'm all for the tax revenue but this town rarely adds anything of value to the community. If I need gas at 11 PM, a well landscaped but closed gas station does me no good!
Araceli Gonzalez January 11, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Most, if not all of the 8 homes and neighbors behind this property would be directly affected and are strongly opposed to the project. All of us have well water, now the gas station will get its own water line, why don't we all get the water lines to ensure our well being from soil and water contamination?. Specially since there is a brook that goes along in between the properties. tank leaks are not an uncommon event and families' health should not be compromised with a project like this. this project not only doesn't add up any value to the community overall, but hampers families health and safety.
Tman January 11, 2012 at 10:03 PM
if they are going to charge an additional .10 cents a gallon for credit then don't even bother, Monroe has the most expensive gas in the area to begin with, I wish someone would put in chain restuarants along that stretch...we need sewers for businesses to come
Christine E. January 11, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Correct me if i'm wrong, but the Buck Stop - Exxon on Rt. 25 is 24 hours.
Walt January 11, 2012 at 11:22 PM
There are 4 or 5 gas stations on 111 now? We really only need one, c'mon people how much gas do you need? Bulldoze 4 of those stations and plant trees and grass! I think there are 3 pizza places on 111 too, close down 2 of those as well! Exactly who do these property owners think they are, trying to build and profit on property that they own. They should just keep paying taxes on that fallow land and shut up! Whose big idea was it to have 2 grocery stores on that road too, huh? The reason traffic is always so bad on 111 is because everybody is out driving around grocery shopping, picking up pizza and stopping for gas! Enough! Get rid of thoe businesses and we'll be able to drive traffic free over to Trumbull to buy stuff!
Schap January 12, 2012 at 01:56 AM
What would you like to see there in a space that has been dormant for 23 years. We always say what we don't want when does some say what they do want. We are definitiely helsd hostage to development without sewers. How about some suggestions? We really don't choose what a developer or broker is able to attrack to our town, we can only approve or disapprove. a survey was done by our FS when he first got into office, but like everything else we never got any results of the survey. Why not an article on what this town needs and wants.
Oldblooeyz January 12, 2012 at 04:41 AM
The more tax revenue the better in my opinion. Line 111 with gas stations if it will keep my taxes from increasing every year
Lynn January 12, 2012 at 12:22 PM
Another gas station and there of all places? Aren't there 4 already in that tenth of a mile area radius?
frank January 12, 2012 at 02:09 PM
A 24 hour Donut delight with drive thru could help put a little life in this dead town. if you want gas station just make a offer to one of the existing owners. another gas station Really !!!!!!
John F. January 12, 2012 at 02:22 PM
So is the Shell on Rt 25.
Christine E. January 12, 2012 at 02:29 PM
We have three dunkin donuts and a donut inn, opening another donut shop is no different than opening another gas station.
Christine E. January 12, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Ahh yep! Sure is!
Jenna January 12, 2012 at 04:33 PM
all three gas stations on Rt. 25 are open 24 hours
Jenna January 12, 2012 at 04:34 PM
two donut inns. One on 25 and 111
Jenna January 12, 2012 at 05:14 PM
I would love to see a type of restaurant, not necessarily a chain, but something like an outback, tgi fridays, maggie mcflys, or hibachi. I would also like to see any type of store whether it be a clothing store, staples, pier 1, anything other than a repeat of the 10 stores we already have. There's a lot of people who say, oh I don't want Monroe to change from this small town, and there's others that say it's to late for that. Monroe needs to take the lead off of how other towns structure themselves. Personally, I think that Southbury is a great town. They have their residential area and then the town center is all business and it's done professionally but still with the small town feel. How can Southbury figure it out but Monroe can't? They have one main strip with most of their stores; kmart, stop and shop, mdonalds, att, radio shack, staples, victoria's secret, pier 1, gap, loft, shop rite, sleepy's, cork and keg, fitness studios, hair salons, a few different restaurants, and so many more things. The same with Shelton they have two main roads with all of their businesses; convenience stores, a few bars, walmart, outback, a few hibachi restaurants, longhorn, ruby tuesday, staples, panera bread, bed bath and beyond, tj maxx, etc.
Jenna January 12, 2012 at 05:14 PM
What does Monroe have? 7 Italian restaurants, 2 American restaurants (buffalo bills, tavern), 5 fast food places,5 donut shops, 4 soon to be 5 ice cream shops , 5 chinese restaurants, 2 subways, 2 bakery's, 5 deli's, 7 gas stations, 11 nail salons, 11 pizza places, 10 banks, 3 daycares, 4 pharmacies, 6 liquor stores, 12 hair salons/barber shops... I can go on and on but I think you get my points, and that was only off the top of my head so I'm sure I missed some businesses in there. The points is Monroe needs to stop bringing in repeat business. We have enough of these businesses, quite frankly way to many of certain businessed. Seriously 12 hair salons and 11 nail salons? Give me a break no town needs that many places.
Christine E. January 12, 2012 at 05:39 PM
In regards to 'new constructions' yes, I hear you. Regulate, be on top of what's being built, talk to residents etc... But, in regards to retail or office spaces available for rent, landlords aren't going to say no to someone who is willing to pay them. You can't keep paying taxes and sitting on empty units because you're afraid to say 'yes' to a guy who wants to open another deli. You might not 'like' that there are so many pizza places, but these are independent, small businesses - not large corporations. If Joe Schmo thinks the other 11 suck, and believes that he can offer a better product than all of them, then who are you to stop him from achieving that success? Aren't we about Free Enterprise? Aren't we about working hard to get a piece of the pie? I agree...5 donut shops is crazy! But they're all busy everytime I drive by them. Unless the money stops rolling in, they aren't going anywhere.
Jenna January 12, 2012 at 05:53 PM
I understand a business who wants to come to Monroe and use space that is already there and available. I would rather see a repeat business than an empty store front. I just would rather see new construction bring in new business. Monroe is a great town and I'm not saying that things need to change, but change is inevitable and I would rather see our town go more towards a setup such as Southbury, Shelton, Trumbull, or Newtown rather than Bridgeport, Danbury, or New Haven. Monroe needs to find a way to attract new business while keep a small town feel. I'm all for someone who wants to start a business and bring it to Monroe even if it's, pizza, nails, or a bakery; but use the existing space don't build a new space for it.
Dayguy January 12, 2012 at 08:35 PM
What about the Economic Development Commission? They should be able to find a better use for this land than more of what we already have. What's their take on this?
frank January 12, 2012 at 09:00 PM
I've been to all those donut/coffee nothing on 111 is 24 hr. I work overnight hours just thought it would be nice to have at least one thing opened to get a cup off GOOD coffee & maybe a bit to eat. pluss that Dunkin donuts is the worst I've ever been in & will never go back. hell it was just a idea open a 24hr gas station with snacks&drinks I just think something should be opened on 111.
Christine E. January 12, 2012 at 10:32 PM
" hell it was just a idea open a 24hr gas station with snacks&drinks I just think something should be opened on 111." There are gas stations open 24 hours with snacks in Monroe. " pluss that Dunkin donuts is the worst I've ever been in & will never go back" Which one? We have three. Once the Diner re-opens, i'm sure you'll have your 24 hour bite to eat. This will eventually be a non-issue.
frank January 12, 2012 at 11:11 PM
I thought we were talking about 111 not 25
Christine E. January 12, 2012 at 11:31 PM
Yes, the development is proposed for 111 - but why do people in the 111 area complain so much that Monroe has 'nothing 24 hours'. You really can't drive an extra couple of miles to get your 1am gas fill or 3am snack? You live in the suburbs, things aren't always going to be right next to your house.
monroe taxpayer January 12, 2012 at 11:47 PM
If we have more stations doesn't that mean lower prices because of added competition?
Steve Kirsch January 13, 2012 at 12:23 AM
No.
Christine E. January 13, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Not a chance. Gas prices are regulated and taxed, the difference would only be a few cents.
Jenna January 13, 2012 at 02:14 AM
not necessarily, gas prices are regulated by state not town. Gas prices in danbury have been down to 3.48 recently. Competition could definitely change prices bug it doesn't mean it will. When buck stop changed ownership their gas dropped to 3.59 and Mobil soon followed suit on rt.25, however the prices are back up now. If one gas station in Monroe dropped prices the others would also to keep business going.
monroe taxpayer January 13, 2012 at 02:50 AM
What about a bio diesel and ethanol station ? I do not know of any in CT? It just would be nice to be able to purchase fuel for our flex fuel vehicles. If there are none around, it would bring more businesses to town. I would imagine that would be out of the towns ability to make that a requirement anyway?
Brian Quinn January 13, 2012 at 05:43 PM
If anyone has a thoroughly thought through business plan, bring it forward. Remember that in conjunction with zoning, sewers and water you also have land and construction cost. Then factor in best case / worst case scenarios for the income you can generate versus your investment of cash and time. Keep in mind that many startups hit critical cash flow periods and fail due to undercapitalization issues in the 1st 3 years. If your business plan clearly makes money with each scenario you run, do it! If not, step aside for the business with a formula that does. No one has stepped forward on this parcel for many years. I suspect there are very few business models that work. The bright side of the recession is that some properties are more affordable for entrepreneurs and business developments. In 2009 we saw many Monroe business go bankrupt since they were already on the edge when the recession hit. That led to lots of vacancies. But look around. Things are starting to look up. Investments are being made again in our community. For the moment, I choose to set aside my personal preferences of business types and am grateful that community investors are coming forward. That in itself is says something. In my opinion, a constructive attitude is half the battle.

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