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.

Steve Kirsch January 13, 2012 at 12:23 AM
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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