With Gas Station’s Closing, a Fuel Desert Expands in Manhattan

In Manhattan, there are 50 gas stations that can be used by the public, according to the Fire Department. Over the past eight years, about 30 have disappeared. A 2014 analysis by The Wall Street Journal said there were just 12 below 96th Street, but several have closed since then.

The math makes the decision to pack up shop and build simple. “If you own the gas station and you own the land, and you can get 30 or 40 million dollars for that, you could run that gas station for 100 years and never make that kind of money,” said Ralph Bombardiere, executive director of the New York State Association of Service Stations and Repair Shops, which lobbies on behalf of the industry in New York.

The gas station that closed Thursday was owned by Marcello Porcelli, whose father bought the corner plot for $100,000 about four decades ago and built up the Gaseteria brand, whose red-and-blue signs became a fixture of the city’s 1970s streetscape.

In the early 2000s his father’s company, LargaVista, shifted its goals to prioritize developing its more than 60 parcels citywide, “in order to maximize its extremely valuable portfolio of prime locations,” according to its website. LargaVista has formed a partnership with Related, a development company, to build the office building, a seven-story, $200 million project of zigzagging glass designed by the architect Rick Cook.

The same gas station shortage will affect the Bay Area too.

Buying a gas station with the land underneath and sell it 10-20 years later seems to be a good strategy. During those years you get income and positive cash flow as well, so you can afford to wait for the right moment to sell.

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Buying gas station is not an issue, but complying government rules, for fire hazard and insurance, is a big nightmare/overhead !

That 19th Avenue 76 for sale has your name all over it… although I would hate to live right on the train track line. Little earthquake tremblors every 5-10 minutes…

The ultimate land bank opportunity. .better than a parking lot…except for the pesky EPA crap about the storage tanks …Built 9 condos on one on Monterey 34 yers ago…Zoning allowed 12…City and neighbors knocked it down to 9…Same crap as today…will the Stupes ever learn? and they blame the housing shortage on Techies???

@Elt1,

Didn’t you suggest self-storage places? Same strategy (long term)?

The strategy in Manhattan, and I think true also in the Bay Area, is to build commercial office building. There are lots of gas stations up and down 101 that are very close to freeway. Great for office, terrible for homes.

Self storage have been very good to me…The only self storage I have been involved in the BA is in Oakland…Converted existing buildings…But long term they are good as long as they are in a retail location