Company to redevelop downtown gas station

A company is looking to redevelop a former gas station site and nearby grocery into a new gas station and convenience store.

Columbus City Council has approved first reading of an ordinance vacating public right-of-way at the request of GSD Petroleum for this purpose. Ordinances must pass on two readings to be fully approved.

GSD is seeking to vacate an alley between their properties near the northeast corner of 11th and Washington streets, according to a memo from City/County Planning Director Jeff Bergman. The alley runs east to west between Washington Street and the north-south alley in that block.

He told the city council that the alley is located between the site of a former Marathon gas station that was recently demolished and a small downtown grocery to the north. The applicant is just seeking to vacate a portion of the east-west alley.

“GSD Petroleum owns the former gas station site immediately at the corner of 11th and Washington, on the south side of that alley, as well as the adjacent grocery store, which is on the north side of the alley,” Bergman wrote in the planning report. “The applicants have indicated their intent to redevelop both properties and the vacated alley as a new gas station/convenience store.”

An early concept plan included in city documents shows the proposed fuel canopy and store, as well as a proposed restaurant adjacent to the store. A landscape buffer and fence are also included in the concept. While the current grocery is located to the north of the former gas station, the concept shows the convenience store and restaurant in the southwest corner of the development, with the fuel canopy north of this.

Bergman noted in his memo that the project will require certain approvals from both the Columbus Board of Zoning Appeals and Plan Commission and is therefore subject to change. He also told council members that GSD will need to go through a site plan review process with plan commission as part of the approval process.

“It may be a little while before you see a second reading on this ordinance,” he added. “The applicant indicated to us that they wanted to get an initial read on the likelihood the alley could be vacated before they proceed with some of their other site development plan pieces. So it may be after some of those other approvals that you see the work on the alley dedication conclude.”

Furthermore, both Duke Energy and AT&T have said that they have facilities in the alley that will need to be “accommodated in some way by the redevelopment,” Bergman said.