Crews rebuild downtown gas station
October 23, 2012
By Warren Kagarise
Expect the remade downtown Shell gas station and Jacksons convenience store to stand taller and cover more ground than the boxlike former structure after a monthslong overhaul concludes.
The planned store at Front Street and Sunset Way should feature a more modern, spacious layout and additional options. The planned façade includes sconces and stone accents. The gas station site is also in line to receive additional landscaping after construction concludes.
Crews started the major overhaul Sept. 11, a day after the business closed to customers.
The initial plan called for remodeling and adding to the existing frame, but crews have since expanded the project.
“The project, when it first came in, it was going to be about an 800-square-foot addition and then a total façade remodel,” said Christopher Wright, project oversight manager in the city’s Development Services Department. “Once they started tearing stuff down, there were some foundation issues, and so they ended up tearing the whole thing down rather than just doing the façade remodel and the addition.”
Wright said the permits issued for the project allowed the additional work.
“As far as the footprint and the elevations and everything, it’s exactly the same as what we reviewed,” he said.
Before the closure, employees told customers to expect the business to reopen by December, and for gas sales to resume before then, but Wright said the additional construction could push the reopening into early 2013.
The construction contractor kept the fuel pumps and underground storage tanks in place, as well as the skeleton for the canopy over the pumps, but left little else intact on the site.
Construction hit a snag late last month, after crews struck a natural gas line at about noon Sept. 25, prompting a response from Eastside Fire & Rescue and Puget Sound Energy.
The smell of gas filled the air near the construction site. Firefighters used traffic cones to cordon off the parking lot at Front Street Market and asked motorists not to start their vehicles near the site as PSE crews stopped the leak.