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Husky Gas Station - 217 King St North, Waterloo (Closed)
#1
Noticed this today. The signage is gone and so are the pumps. No indication this is a renovation. Perhaps plunging oil prices caused this? I hope it doesn't end up as an eye sore at the corner like the other abandoned nearby gas station lots have become.
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I used to be the mayor of sim city. I know what I am talking about.
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#2
I've been waiting years and years for the lot just North of the King-in-only entrance to Chapers & co. to be changed into something, anything. But no. Unless another gas station truly just pops in, this is doubtful to change in the next decade. I wonder if this affects Husky's sponsorship of Winterloo?
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#3
Usually when former gas stations are not developed is due to fears of heavy ground pollution. The former gas station and Union and Belmont as well as the lot you mention on King St. N. are examples of rather valuable property that has been left untouched, presumably for this reason.
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#4
(02-02-2015, 09:01 AM)BuildingScout Wrote: Usually when former gas stations are not developed is due to fears of heavy ground pollution. The former gas station and Union and Belmont as well as the lot you mention on King St. N. are examples of rather valuable property that has been left untouched, presumably for this reason.

Consider the lot at Union and Belmont. It's been vacant for well over a decade. If it's owned privately then someone has been paying property tax on it. They also continue to be liable for any pollution remediation before they can put the lot to use or sell it. So why wait? If cleanup is needed it's not going to get cheaper in the future.

Moreover if the concern is ground pollution then doesn't the city have some responsibility for putting pressure on the owner to do it now rather than continue with the risk that this pollution gets into the water system?

I'm asking about Union and Belmont because it's been vacant for so long. The same applies to the Husky although at this time we don't know if the lot owner has an definite plans.
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#5
(02-02-2015, 12:34 PM)ookpik Wrote: If it's owned privately then someone has been paying property tax on it. They also continue to be liable for any pollution remediation before they can put the lot to use or sell it. So why wait? If cleanup is needed it's not going to get cheaper in the future.

Moreover if the concern is ground pollution then doesn't the city have some responsibility for putting pressure on the owner to do it now rather than continue with the risk that this pollution gets into the water system?

I'm asking about Union and Belmont because it's been vacant for so long. The same applies to the Husky although at this time we don't know if the lot owner has an definite plans.

Taxes over empty land are low as best as I understand. Pollution remediation would likely exceed their sales cost, so usually they wait for some brownfield remediation incentive such as the Barrel Yards, where it was reported that the subsoil belongs to a shell corporation with no assets other than the land itself because of fears about what one day may be uncovered.

The solution would be to have all environmentally sensitive industries buy into a ground remediation insurance pool whose premiums should reflect how safe are their practices. This way going bankrupt wouldn't be a way out of soil remediation and it could be initiated by the city itself.
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#6
There are dozens of closed, vacant former gas stations (could be more than that, especially if you assume that tenant convenience stores are using some) in KW, multiply that by every other town in Canada and you can imagine how many sites each of the now handful of oil companies are on the hook for...I (perhaps overly optimistically) assume they are working their way through a few sites a year, all prioritized by a multitude of influencing factors. If you've got a couple in mind that as a citizen or a municipality should be moved up the priority list, there's probably ways to make that happen...I just am not sure what they are.

I simply assume that between the proliferation of the internal combustion engine, and the widespread use of fiberglass, that there's is (or was) a hell of a lot of steel tanks rusting away in moist soil...and leak monitoring and fuel worth inventorying are pretty newish ideas I think.
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#7
If I'm not mistaken, the City (Waterloo) passed a brownfield's redevelopment act in 2013 that would help property owners cover the cost of remediation.
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#8
out of curiosity, I went for a google tour:
-Belmont and Union
-Highland and Spadina
-King and Ottawa
-Weber and East (recently redeveloped)
-Weber and Kingsbury
-King E by sportsworld
-King E by 401
-Westmount and Victoria
-King N and Lodge (recent redevelopment)
-King N and Blue Springs

and so on..

Any oldtimers can confirm these were gas stations? Big Grin
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#9
An acquaintance in a consulting profession had occasion to be examining gas station properties.

My question to him was "Do any of them leak?" Response: "They all leak."
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#10
I can confirm that the King E brownfields near Sportsworld and the 401 were gas stations. Just south of Gateway Park there used to be three in a row: Shell, Petro Canada(?), and Esso. Always thought that was weird. North of Sportsworld were a Petro Canada and a Sunoco next to each other; the Sunoco closed and I think the current Petro is built on it.

Added to the list are the site at Hespeler Road and Dunbar and King East at Dolph/Laurel - two stations for the latter site, one of which has been gone since I moved here. I think there used to be one at the Delta as well.
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#11
The property at Victoria and Westmount used to be a Sunoco (even though there was another one across the street) the property now has a Tim Hortons. The property at Belmont and Union used to be an esso, and My Dad told me that when he was a kid (in the 1970s) the property at Highland and Spadina used to be an abandoned Texaco gas station.
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#12
Other redeveloped properties that I know of that used to have gas stations are Highland and Westmount where the Red thai Restaurant is (the old Rogers video and Tim Hortons plaza) used to have an esso/Texaco, across from there where stop 2 shop is, used to be another esso station. And where All star wings (old East side Mario's) is used to have another Sunoco station.
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#13
King/Ottawa and Highland/Spadina were both gas stations, decades ago.  I wonder why the owner of these properties is not required to clean the site up when operations cease?

In the case of Highland/Spadina, the station closed because the proprietor refused to put a coffee bar in, as the franchise was insisting.  He now runs a successful auto repair business out on Victoria St.
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#14
Weber St and Lodge (Across from Benny's Restaurant) also looks to have been a gas station lot at one time and now sits only to grow tumbleweeds in the summer.
_____________________________________
I used to be the mayor of sim city. I know what I am talking about.
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#15
And as I have had second thoughts about this thread, I am now wondering: as we transition to electric cars are we going to see our future cities dotted with these former gas stations? Will future cities allow these sites to be abandoned seemingly forever?
_____________________________________
I used to be the mayor of sim city. I know what I am talking about.
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