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Defunct gas stations on West Genesee Street being removed, improved

Owner hopes to revitalize entire acreage

The lot on the corner of West Genesee and Fuller streets in the village has been returned to green space after the demolition of the defunct Mobil gas station. Owner Gary Dower is preparing a master plan as to what may be built there in the future.

The lot on the corner of West Genesee and Fuller streets in the village has been returned to green space after the demolition of the defunct Mobil gas station. Owner Gary Dower is preparing a master plan as to what may be built there in the future. Photo by Jason Emerson.

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The old Mobil station as it looked for more than a decade before its recent demolition.

— This week, the infamous and decade-long defunct Mobil gas station at the corner of W. Genesee and Fuller streets was razed by bulldozers and backhoes, and a layer of seeded topsoil spread to grow while plans are made by the owner for future use of the lot. The demolition was the talk of the town for more than a week beginning in late June, when a bulldozer was parked on the lot and yellow police tape strung across the building as asbestos and window removal occurred.

What will replace the former gas station, and what will happen to the defunct BP gas station in the adjoining lot on W. Genesee Street, is currently under consideration by the landowner, who hopes to create a development master plan during the next few years.

“That’s been quite an adventure to get done,” said Gary Dower, owner of both lots as well as a few acres of vacant land behind the lots. “We’d like to try to bring the whole area back to be a productive contribution to the tax rolls.”

Both the defunct Mobil and BP gas stations most likely were built around the 1940s, Dower said, and have been sitting vacant for more than a decade. Both sites, as former gas stations, had environmental issues attached to them, and the Mobil site many years ago suffered a gas leak that necessitated major environmental cleanup by the state and the former owner.

After Dower purchased the old BP station, he found in the basement more than four dozen 55-gallon drums of various gas station hazardous liquids that had been stored on-site, as well as about 150 used automotive batteries, all of which had to be removed, he said.

“But we went through the process with the [state department of environmental conservation] to clean and improve the land and it is all environmentally stable now,” he said.

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