Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's almost here...Ghetto Mart no more!


I've been so excited the last few days seeing the Sunoco come together next to my house. It's been a LONG journey getting the gas station back up and running. I honestly never used the gas at Getty because I only go to Exxon/Mobile and Sunoco due to getting better gas mileage. But I did enjoy the convenience of the ghetto mart and being able to rummage through all the expired milk, eggs & butter to purchase my "NEED TO HAVE" products for dinner.

Since Mr. Patel mentioned that he expected the gas station to be opened in January/Feb... I really had no clue as to when to REALLY expect it to be up and running. but in the last week, I've seen them pave the lot, plant trees and bushes and just recently (yesterday) start stocking the shelves inside the mart! As you can see from the picture (as of yesterday) the pumps still do not look complete, the sign is missing and there are a few other items that need to be finished but I'm singing in anticipation to being able to frequent the convenience store (which looks a lot less ghetto) for all my last minute purchases. It's amazing how lazy I am but at the same time it has made me a lot more inventive in coming up with substitutions for those products I refused to drive all the way to Giant to get.

I'm wondering if anyone out there know of the official grand opening of the gas station? Is anyone else interested in seeing the new and improved convenience store?


noel jones said...

oh-oh-oh yes, we are interested, eager and impatiently waiting. it's great to see the progress. this is one of the few citizen-driven canton initiatives that we get to finally see come to fruition.

Nikkita and Julie and residents of cantons 7 & 8 spearheaded this improvement to our gateway to Easton. I'm very glad that Mr. Patel was amenable to residents' ideas and suggestions--it looks better already!

another development I'm excited about in the West Ward: the County has finally planted trees in front of the juvenile detention center!

Anonymous said...

cleaning the place up IS a big part of it, but who will the customers be? who will they cater to?
I kind of wish it was a wawa or turkey hill market, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt.

Nikkita said...

I would think the customers would be the same people who live near the convenience store...wouldn't that make sense?

why would it make a difference being a wawa or turkey hill? Maybe I'm naive but I don't get it.

Are you looking for an upscale convenience store that will sell gourmet coffee and lattes? I'm sorry but I think we have enough pretentious stores in Easton, I'd rather have a normal conveneince store for my normal convenience store purchases... otherwise it will be too expensive and i'll never shop there.

Anonymous said...

Nikki I think you uinderstand what I meant. it was a 'getto mart' as you called it, n ot just becasue of how it looked, but the people who stopped in there and hung out there. but I guess thats who my neighbors are.
my wawa.turkey hill comment was recognizing that wawa keeps their new places looking good and well kept (the downtown one being an exception). and no, I'm not looking for an upscale place; just a place where I can feel comfortable taking my family w/o having to be around drug dealers and dirtbags.
I hope it does work out, really.

Anonymous said...

I think the WAWA downtown is pretty clean considering the volume of business they do. I understand it is still in the top 5 of their non-gasoline stores. That said, I would much rather see more locally owned businesses instead of these large companies that do nothing to give back to the community.

Fia said...

Mr. Patel has done a wonderful job on the gas station and convenience store. The landscaping is really impressive. He even planted trees!

Nikkita said...

If you were to drive by the gas station it looks really nice. The store inside looks well organized and neat. As long as Mr. Patel keeps it up (which he seems really passionate about doing) along with making sure the "riff raff" don't loiter or litter on his property. I myself am hopeful!

Dennis R. Lieb said...

We need to keep perspective on these superficial rehabs of "neighborhood" businesses. As long as these places are satellite franchises of foreign corporations (AKA non-locally owned) we are kidding ourselves over their true economic benefit to the city.

I don't know if Patel is a franchisee in the store operation yet (let's hope not) but his gas sales certainly are.

They can clean up the pig, dress up the pig and put make-up on the pig but it is still a pig. In case you don't get the metaphor, I'm not calling the mini-mart a pig; my point is that any way you disguise a national chain retail entity and no matter what kind of token charitable contributions or PR campaigns they mount, they still drain reinvestment out of a local community at a rate negatively comparable to a local business.

If the Easton Redeveloment Authority were fully functional it would have declared the site blighted after it closed and taken the property through eminent domain. Then a truly public discourse could have taken place as to what the neighborhood wanted it to be and that information would have been used to form a request for proposals from local investors to redevelop the site.

This is the process that works on the small scale. The Silk Mill is a worthy effort for ther ERA but the scale makes it a decades-long project while we could be doing a couple neighborhood scaled projects like this every year instead.


Nikkita said...

That's definitely an interesting way of looking at it. I personally would rather be living next to a well dressed pig than a decomposing pig carcass :)

Anonymous said...

Dennis, I would think you especially wouldn't hold out much hope for "a request for proposals from local investors to redevelop the site".
seriously, who is really investing in the WW? no one really, or no one who would open an independent, locally owned conveininece store/gas station (which is the only viable option for that corner). all the local owned retail business close up ('cept for a few hold outs like the bakery and noto's).
and local owners aren't always if ever the best choice; there are PLENTY of slumlords around who couldn't care less about the neighborhood but to drain it of easy dollars. one particular one is planning on opening a deli where schaeffers was; but he also owns quite a bit of dilapidated properties around the city.
like Nikki said, at least it's SOMETHING. much better to have a new gas station there than another empty lot.

Terra said...

I live accross the street and like my neighbors hold out hope that the new station will prove to be a positive addition. Before I get into what may seem like a really negative comment, let me say that I do applaud Nikkita and Julie's efforts. The aesthetics are more than I could've imagined and are the reason I hold the small bit of hope that I do. But...
While Mr. Patel's intentions may be the best for getting his store up and running, let's hope his "concerns for the neighborhood" don't dwindle as our money starts to flood his books.
The negative clientele that frequented the old stores - I've lived here through three different ownerships - was due to a combination of products offered and lack of "self-policing" on the property. If your store's major sellers are drug paraphenalia, pirated pornographic DVD's - oh yeah they didn't display them - but all you had to do was ask - I've witnessed it...and white tee shirts, you will undoubtedly attract the wrong crowd. Being selective with what is sold in the store will help keep the unsavories from stopping there.
People hanging outside with their car radios blaring while they chat with their friends for a half-hour..Kids blocking the door asking to buy or trying to bum cigarettes all the while disrespecting the paying customers..After school mob-fights...shoot outs...These things I have not missed the past year.
I can understand those who would rather see a franchise there - at least most of those operations have a corporate image to uphold and sometimes even guidelines on products sold and procedures for upkeep to which they must adhere.
Lastly, let's face it, franchise or not I highly doubt any of the store's profits will be reinvested in the WW or in Easton at all for that matter. Let's see some charitible contributions to the neighborhood...Now THAT would impress me!

Nikkita said...

Great insight Terra, thanks for posting! I think we will have to keep an eye cause if he doesn't want riff raff, than he shouldn't cater to them.

Anonymous said...

Water the plants somebody!