Certified Oil has halted plans for now to replace a gas station with a convenience store on U.S. Route 23.
Construction was slated to begin in late summer or early fall this year after Delaware City Council approved in June a combined preliminary and final development plan for Certified to tear down the Sunoco gas station, 2061 U.S. Route 23 North, and construct a new one on about an acre.
“We have put the project on hold for the time being,” said Nick Lacaillade, vice president of retail and corporate development for the Columbs-based company.
The new station would have two entrances including one fronting a new rear access drive after Certified acquired an easement from Delaware County utilizing the Big Lots Shopping Center parking lot and the traffic signal on Route 23, according to a June city staff report.
But over the past few months, the company became concerned that there would be limited access to the station for traffic going northbound on Route 23, Lacaillade said.
“If you’re going 23 North you wouldn’t to be able to access our site,” he said.
City spokesman Lee Yoakum said “concerns like that” have not been communicated to the city.
“We were working with Certified when the final development plan was approved by Council June 13, and now we are hearing from Marathon,” he said an in email.
The station would be owned and operated by Certified, but its fuel products and brand would be from Marathon Petroleum, Lacaillade said. The potential 4,400-square-foot gas station would have six fuel pumps and maintain the Subway franchise now at the site, according to prior reports from The Gazette.
“Who is there — Sunoco, Certified, Marathon — is less concern to us. How it goes there we do care about,” Yoakum said.
Additionally, Certified will consider the impact of the Speedway gas station now being constructed near the Hills Miller Road and Route 23 intersection, Lacaillade said.
Council approved the plans in April for Speedway LLC, an Enon-based subsidiary of Marathon, to build a gas station on nearly 13 acres. Construction took place at the site next door to the former Obee’s gas station Monday evening.
“The new Speedway location at the corner of Hills Miller Road and U.S. Route 23 in Delaware, began construction on Sept. 12, with a tentative completion in late May 2017,” said Stefanie Griffith, a spokeswoman for Marathon, which is based in Findlay.
The 4,608-square-foot store will feature seven fuel pumps, three separate diesel fueling bays for semi-trucks, a complete convenience store with a walk-in beer cave and a “Speedy Café,” a fast casual restaurant where customers place their orders on a self-serve ordering kiosk. The café’s menu will include sandwiches, custom-made pizzas and hand-crafted beverages such as lattes and frappes.
Lacaillade said Certfied Oil does like the site for its potential Marathon gas station.
“We want to get it right,” he said.