Archive for the tag 'gas stations'

Credit: Flickr/tom.arthur

Credit: Flickr/tom.arthur

Due to a recent spate of credit/debit card skimming reports at gas stations in New York City, the NYPD is urging folks to be alert while paying at the gas pump–and to look out for credit card skimming devices.

Our neighborhoods are not immune. In April, there were two incidents at Sunoco stations in Brooklyn, one at 1248 Coney Island Avenue in Midwood, and another 1907 Cropsey Avenue in Bath Beach.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Choose a pump near the cashier. Experts say skimmers prefer to target pumps in the shadows.
  • Inspect the gas pump reader before using it.
  • If you do suspect a skimming device, call 911.
  • If a device is discovered refrain from touching, call 911.
  • When possible utilize cash, instead of your credit/debit card.


A man is in the hospital after being shot in the stomach by an unknown assailant in Brighton Beach on Saturday.

The shooting occurred at a gas station at Coney Island Avenue and Neptune Avenue, at approximately 5:45 p.m.

According to News 12, the man is in his 20s and was taken to Lutheran Hospital in serious condition. Police had not made an arrest by yesterday afternoon, but were seen searching a white van near the crime scene.

Sheepshead Bites has sent a request to the NYPD for more information on the incident, and will update this post when we hear back.

Photo by Lenny Markh

The following is a press release from the offices of Councilman Lew Fidler:

City Councilman Lew Fidler is proud to announce that the City Council unanimously voted, at their Stated Meeting yesterday, to approve his bill requiring gas stations to clearly display, on roadside signs, all of the prices they charge – no matter if a customer uses cash or credit.

Under State law, gas stations are not allowed to charge extra when customers choose to pay by credit card rather than cash. Yet, throughout the City, gas stations have skirted this by instead offering a ‘cash discount.’ Even worse, the roadside signs used by these gas stations often displayed only the cash price. The higher price for credit card purchases, which most of their customers were likely paying, was generally left off the sign entirely. Only the word ‘cash,’ sometimes hidden in tiny letters, was there to warn drivers that they might end up paying more.

“This is a loophole the size of a truck,” said Councilman Fidler. “You can call this a legal fiction or a distinction without a difference, but either way, New Yorkers just call it absurd. By the time you park your car next to the pump it’s too late to be told what the actual price you’ll be paying is. Gas is too expensive already for us to allow gimmicks and tricks to make it cost even more. Drivers need to know what the price is when they’re driving by, so they can decide where to take their business. It’s basic transparency and it’s basic consumer protection.”

Councilman Fidler’s bill will now require that all gas stations in the City of New York display all of the gas prices they charge, on required roadside signs. Stations that charge the same price for all forms of payment would only have to display the one price, while those that differentiate prices would have to post every one of their different prices. The bill also requires that clear lettering and wording be used for these prices, so drivers with only a second to glance at the signs can easily read them.

“This bill will give drivers the information they need,” Fidler said. “And, with information comes power – the power to be an informed shopper and, hopefully, the power to create some small measure of price competition between gas stations. If gas stations want to offer discounts they still can – but it has to be done openly and without hiding the price that most of their customers will be paying.”

Councilman Fidler expressed his thanks to Speaker Christine Quinn and Council Member Dan Garodnick, Chairman of the Council’s Committee on Consumer Affairs, as well as to all of his Council colleagues for their support for his bill.

“Sometimes you get an opportunity to do something about a problem that just gnaws at the innards of New Yorkers. I know this was one of those for many of us and I am sure that we will be happier to see this bait and switch tactic vanish once and for all,” Councilman Fidler added.

The Mayor is expected to sign the bill next week, and it will take effect 120 days after being signed into law.

At 6:00 a.m. today, New York City joined New Jersey in instituting an Odd-Even License Plate System for gas purchases in an attempt to reduce long lines at gas-starved pumps.

Vehicles with license plates ending in an even number or zero shall only purchase fuel in NYC on even numbered days of the month. Passenger automobiles with license plates ending in an odd number shall only purchase fuel in NYC on odd numbered days of the month. License plates not ending in a number shall be deemed an odd number license plate.

This system will continue until further notice.

To help find functioning and stocked gas stations, you can use this map of Sandy-related initiatives, including gas stations, food distribution points, shelters, volunteer locations, etc. Similarly, there’s, and Hess has been updating its website with location and inventory information every two hours.

Do you think the odd-even system will help you get gas?

Contractors demolished the 38-year-old garage at 1515 Avenue Z this morning, eliminating the last remaining marker of the mechanic and gas station that formerly occupied the East 16th Street corner.

The owners, October Sky LLC, purchased the property at auction for $4.75 million last year, and told Sheepshead Bites in February they’d be turning it into a parking area. In the last few weeks, contractors put down gravel, painted parking lines, and opened up the lot for monthly parking tenants.

The added parking spaces are not only a boon to commuters and Sheepshead Bay Road’s parking starved businesses, but also for October Sky. It could lead to the eventual legalization of a nearby development at 1401 Avenue Z, which was constructed without the necessary number of parking spots. The developer previously filed plans to build a nine story mixed-use building across the street at 1508 Avenue Z (a.k.a. 1501(c) Sheepshead Bay Road), filling it with offices and a 101-car parking garage, which October Sky hoped to split between the new building and the East 14th Street one, bringing it within the boundaries of the law.

Those plans were nixed, however, after local leaders blasted it, saying that it would create a traffic nightmare to have a valet parking garage of that size on congested Avenue Z.

More parking in the area will undoubtedly be welcomed by locals. But I, for one, really miss filling up my bicycle tires for free at the old station as a kid. But those days – days of free air and gas stations in Sheepshead Bay – are long gone.

Thanks to Andrea Coyle for the tip!

The BP station where the winner bought his lucky ticket. (Source: Google Maps)

A high school senior from Brooklyn was awarded “At Least One-Million Dollars,” from the New York State Lottery on Tuesday, after he won $1,000 for life from a lottery scratch-off ticket, which he purchased in a Sheepshead Bay convenience store.

Eighteen-year-old Robert Salo, a resident of Sheepshead Bay and high school senior at James Madison High School,  said that his acquisition of this winning ticket was a stroke of luck.

“I just had a feeling,” Salo told Vosizneias. “It was like I was in the right place at the right time.”

He is one of several winners from Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island, who also received their checks at the ceremony on Tuesday. The prizes given over at the ceremony totaled $7 million.

Salo said that he immediately showed his lucky ticket to his mother and uncle, and then kept it with him for the entire night. According to the Daily News, it seems as though Salo is  the youngest person to win the lottery’s grand-a-week-for-life contest.

As winner of the top prize of the “Win $1,000 A Week For Life Scratch-off,” Salo will receive at least $1 million over 20 years, according to Vosizneias. Once he has been granted the $1 million prize, he will be granted a yearly check for $52,000 every year for the rest of his life.

“We were kind of worried about paying for college,” Salo’s mom, Rabia, told the Daily News . “I said if I had to work two jobs I would do it, but he’s going to the school he wants.”

Rabia Salo, a single mother, certainly does not have to worry about funding her son’s college education any longer. These winnings have Salo set for college, graduate school, and the rest of his life. Salo still plans on attending college and becoming an electrical engineer, yet his is happy he can do so with the winnings in his pocket.

“Of course I’d like a Lamborghini or Ferrari, but I think a new BMW is more in my price range,” sais Salo to Vosizneias. “Eventually, I’d like to buy a house, but for right now, I just want to enjoy life to the fullest.”

After winning, Salo said that he couldn’t eat, sleep, or do anything but pace around his house.

“I felt like it was a dream,” he said.

The Daily News identified the convenience store at which the ticket was purchased as the store on the corner of Avenue T and Coney Island, by the BP gas station.

Source: Google Maps

The gas station at 2472 Knapp Street and Avenue Y is on the market for $2,900,000. The 1,512 square foot property, which currently houses a Shell gas station, is located across the street from the recently closed Burger King.

The station is still open, but at least one readers says that they often and inexplicably run out of gas. It’s also one of the few gas stations and mechanics left in the area, as several have shuttered in the last decade.

And with the edge of the shit factory wastewater treatment plant there, along with a shuttered Burger King and an abundance of Sanitation trucks – is Avenue Y and Knapp Street officially a blighted intersection?

We reported last week that the Sunoco gas station at 2701 Knapp Street is proposing to shutter its automotive service station and replace it with a new 24-hour convenience store.

In the video above, the owner’s attorney Eric Palatnik elaborated on the business’ needs to make the switch, saying that service station revenue has been dwindling nationwide, while convenience stores have been popping up in their place. Following his presentation, Community Board 15 voted to approve the proposal.

Palatnik adds in the video that the gas station will remain open, though they will be filing with the Department of Environmental Protection to replace the underground storage tank.

We called the service station this morning to ask if, when and where they would be moving, but the owner wasn’t on site. His nephew said he did not know of any current plans to replace the service station with a convenience store.

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.

Jack Nacmias' Sunoco gas station on Coney Island Avenue and Avenue V. Source: Google Maps

The rising price of fuel at a Sheepshead Bay service station is serving as a national litmus test for the 2012 presidential race, according to the owner of the station.

“Those numbers on the gas price window are better than the Gallup poll,” said Sunoco station owner Jack Nacmias, pointing to the sign that reads $3.99 for a gallon of regular fuel.

“The higher it gets the lower Obama’s numbers will fall by Election Day. I got four voting booths that people vote at with their wallets at every single day here on what I call the corner of Coney Island Ave. and the Strait of Hormuz.”

In an interview with The Daily News’ Denis Hamill, Nacmias — who says he “make[s] less, not more when gas goes up” — tells the columnist that he sells anywhere from 100-120,000 gallons a week and makes 10 to 12 cents a gallon at the station on the corner of Coney Island Avenue and Avenue V.

“From that I pay eight salaries, workman’s comp, insurance, electric, phones, supplies and other overhead. Yes, Iran, politics and the futures markets are killing us. But a lot of gas station owners are telling me they’re getting what’s called ‘short loaded.’ That means delivered only half their usual supply by the oil companies. When the price goes up another dime overnight the oil company delivers the rest.”

Iran, politics and the futures markets… that’s Nacmias’ opinion. What about yours? Who or what do you feel is the reason, or reasons, behind the skyrocketing cost of fuel, here at home, and around the nation?

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