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Bigger Mobil station will replace Arsenal Street convenience store

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The cramped Mobil gas station at 1268 Arsenal St. soon will be demolished and replaced with a convenience store nearly six times its size.

In 2008, Rerob LLC, DeWitt, owners of the Express Mart convenience store, proposed and received approval to build a 5,000-square-foot store to replace the 950-square-foot structure near the entrance to Interstate 81, but never went through with the plans.

But a company representative, Syracuse attorney Paul J. Curtin Jr., said earlier this week that the company again is ready to go ahead with the project, wishing it could “start yesterday.”

Mr. Curtin and another company representative attended Tuesday’s city Planning Board meeting to present a few minor changes to the site plan approved in 2008.

They did not say what put the plans on hold for so many years, but city officials surmised the delay may have been caused by nearby road construction that was being completed at the time.

The new building will sit farther back from Arsenal Street and behind the existing structure. Plans do not include changing the canopy or gas pumps.

It will feature a drive-up window, a coffee station, more inventory and a separate building to house a car wash. A similar store exists in Fayetteville, they said. The existing store sells gas and the typical array of convenience store items but does not offer coffee or other treats.

The new Express Mart will join a Starbucks nearby and a Dunkin’ Donuts store just down the road.

“It’ll be coffee heaven out there,” said Kenneth A. Mix, the city’s planning and community development coordinator.

He also noted the Sunoco convenience store across the street completed a similar project about a year ago.

The car wash may have to compete with the old America’s Car Wash that sits in front of Salmon Run Mall. A state trooper from south of Syracuse who owns about 15 car washes in the state has shown interest in buying the vacant automated car wash and reopening it under the name Classy Chassis.

On Tuesday, the Planning Board gave a green light to relocating the Express Mart’s drive-up window to the back of the building from the original plans, but instructed the developers to correct a problem with the overlapping of the drive-through and exit lanes.

Planning Board members want to make sure vehicles can maneuver through the property without any problems, they said.

The project will close the store during construction. If all goes well, the new store will open before the end of the year.

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