The owners of the Sunoco gas and service station at 2701 Knapp Street are seeking approval to open a 24/7 convenience store at the location, right across the street from 7-Eleven.

Representatives for the property owner will come before Community Board 15 tomorrow night, where they will ask for the go-aheadto remove the automotive service center and construct a convenience store. They will continue to operate the gas station.

“[The owners] are shutting it down because all around the country that’s the way of automotive service centers,” said Eric Palatnik, the owners’ attorney. “They can no longer run in a lucrative manner without providing a secondary means of income. It’s no longer the case that cars are serviced at service stations,” he said, adding that cars are often leased and brought back to dealers when problems arise.

Community Board 15 is required to make a recommendation to the Board of Standards and Appeals for the conversion since the property has been without a Certificate of Occupancy since 1965, when the BSA first gave approval to construct the gas station and required them to obtain one.

“Sometimes the Certificates of Occupancy aren’t obtained when they should be,” said Palatnik, who did not represent Sunoco in any of their previous filings. “I don’t know why they didn’t. They should have, and that’s wrong,” he said, adding that they will obtain the certificate when the convenience store is built.

The conversion to a convenience store mirrors Sunoco’s nationwide business strategy of emphasizing their retail offerings.

“An area of opportunity for us to unlock even more value out of our real estate is by changing our mind-set from a fuels retailer that also sells some convenience items, to a convenience retailer that retails fuels,” said Sunoco’s CEO Lynn Elsenhans in 2010. “We do a good job of retailing fuels and believe we can up our game in convenience retailing.”

But it also puts the store in direct competition with 7-Eleven, directly across the street. Regardless, the conversion – combined with an overhaul and rebranding effort on the premises – will help reinvigorate a blighted intersection, said Palatnik.

“It’s going to improve the heck out of that corner,” he said. “It’s going to be nice.”

UPDATE (3:56 p.m.): We clarified the article by noting that the gas station will continue to stay open. It is only the service station – ie. the mechanic – that will be converted to a convenience store.

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  • ShadowLock

    that’s pretty lame.

  • GregK718

    Sunoco A-Plus stores are pretty nice.  It would be nice to have a choice of stores before heading onto the Belt.  I don’t think i’ve ever used that service station, so it won’t be of any loss to me :)

    • Barkingspider07

      Seven eleven will always have more of a choice than a gas station convenience storel.  Plus, who would buy food from a gas station when there is a nice clean store with great coffee right across the street?  

      • GregK718

        You’ve obviously never been inside a Sunoco A-Plus store.  It is nothing like, say, the “store” inside the Mobil station on Knapp and X.  It is very similar to 7-11, Wawa, Circle K, Turkey Hill…..if you’ve ever been in those.

  • http://www.google.com/ F_a_b_a

    edit. sorry.

  • BrooklynBus

    How could you operate a business for nearly 50 years without a certificate of occupancy and get away with it? Something is definitely wrong how the City conducts its business. No fines for this?

    But you can give $100 fines to individuals who really do nothing wrong like going into the ocean because the City doesn’t want to pay a lifeguard or for having a pile of leaves in their backyard or if someone throws a bottle in someone else’s trash.

  • Barkingspider07

    This stinks.  He is my mechanic and a damned great one.  He does not try to rip anyone off, he is an honest businessman, and after this long, I dont know why this is happening.  There are always cars to be serviced and inspected there.  Wow, I just can’t believe that this is happening.  IT SUCKS!!

    • nolastname

      Honestly. I was there last week. Saved me hundreds running a horn instead of opening up the steering column. 
      Never had a bad tank of gas from them either.

  • http://twitter.com/MarkPak Mark S.

    Never Mind,

    • Arthur Borko

      Never Mind what?

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