North end’s empty gas station gets paint job

The property, which includes a 2,084 square foot building, is listed at $850,000 and sits at Gulf of Mexico Drive and Broadway.

Once a catalyst for discussion of the need to toughen Longboat Key’s property maintenance codes, the vacant gas station at the Island’s north end has recently received a modest facelift.

In recent weeks, fallen fencing has been removed, the main structure has been painted and the property around the building has been cleaned up.

Due to island-wide concerns over the appearance of vacant and aging commercial properties on the north end, many residents and groups have proffered suggestions to the Town.

In May 2012, Longboat Key north end Village resident and realtor for the gas station Richard Estrin suggested a partial solution. He suggested the Town of Longboat Key buy the vacant service station and install new fuel tanks and pumps and offer the facility for lease or lease purchase.

Estrin contended in a letter that the current economy did not make it easy to buy the vacant, for-sale commercial property and by the Town investing it would recover its modest investment.

In January and February 2012, New College Sociology Professor Dr. David Brain helped students create a design charrette of the north end of the Key as part of an independent study project between the school and Longboat Key Chamber and the Longboat Key Revitalization Task Force. In May of 2012, the findings were presented along with creative innovations on how the area could possibly be redeveloped.

Other residents on the north end have also presented their vision of what could make sense. In February 2013, resident Gene Jaleski suggested to the Town that it purchase the vacant gas station and create a visitors and historic center.

The property, which includes a 2,084 square foot building, is listed at $850,000 and sits on the corner of Gulf of Mexico Drive and Broadway. To date although the property still stands vacant and is not under contract. The Town will soon undertake a long-range planning study that will look at the north end as well as the entire Island as it tries to determine what land-use policies would best help make the property a economic asset to the community.


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