The property at Elm and Big Bend has housed a service station for the past 45 years.
photo by Diana Linsley (click for larger version)
May 04, 2012The BP gas station at the northeast corner of Big Bend Boulevard and Elm Avenue in Webster Groves is slated for new ownership and a facelift.
At a public hearing Tuesday, Khaled Abhari asked the Webster City Council to approve his application for a conditional use permit authorizing him to take over operation of the gas station and public garage at 8665 Big Bend.
The station is currently owned by Buchanan Energy, headquartered in Omaha. Abhari said he and his partner David Binaei will initially lease the property from Buchanan, improve the appearance and amenities of the building over the next six months and eventually buy the real estate.
The property, located in the Crossroads business district at an entrance to the city from Interstate 44, has housed a service station for the past 45 years. Transfer of ownership requires city approval of a new occupancy permit.
Abhari said they intend to convert the mechanics shop on the eastern side of the building into a convenience store and enhance the interior and exterior of the station. He said he hopes to receive city approval later to permit the sale of beer and wine on the premises.
The 2,300-square-foot garage and four gas pump islands are located on an approximately one-third acre tract zoned commercial.
Abhari said they hope to take over the station within the next two weeks. There will be no interruption of gas service, he said.
Jason Neun and Robin Holt, who reside at 412 S. Elm directly north of the station, said that under the current ownership they have had problems with the station over trash, noise, vapors, and soil erosion at a retaining wall abutting their property. They asked that an eight-foot solid fence be erected to screen their property against the lights and sounds from the station.
The plan commission included construction of such a fence as a condition for approval of Abhari's application.
Mayor Gerry Welch said the station is in an historic neighborhood and the Crossroads district wants to make that corner more attractive. The council added landscaping improvements as another condition for approval.
Abhari agreed to address those concerns in his planned enhancements to the site.
Following the public hearing the council gave first and second readings to a bill granting the conditional use permit.