Gas station slated for year end completion, owner says

M.E. Jones / Lowell Sun
Shirley Water District technician Brian Boomgaarden drills down to disconnect an existing water line at the former Citgo gas station on Main Street, making way for construction of a new gas station/mini mart/liquor store slated for the site and set for completion later this year.

SHIRLEY — The much anticipated new gas station/package store/convenience store slated for Main Street has been a work in progress since last fall, when the Planning Board approved the site plan.

At that time, the proponent, NET Variety store owner Prit Patel — whose corporation also owns the Laundry Mat next door and several other businesses and properties in town and in the area — told the Planning Board he hoped the gas station project would be completed by late spring or early summer.

Now, the projected completion date has come and gone and there’s no visible activity at the site.

The former Citgo station closed a few years ago, leaving the town with no gas station. Underground tanks were removed but the building still stands and must be razed.

Some preliminary excavation seems to have been done behind construction fencing erected around the site, but otherwise, all is quiet out front: no heavy equipment, no crew at work.

But the street-front view doesn’t show the whole picture, Patel told the Nashoba Valley Voice this week.

There’s plenty going on behind the scenes, he said, noting that there are many details attached to a project like this, separate from his dealings with the town.

But its focus is the same: a modern, all-in one building “with the liquor store in the middle,”he said.

NET Variety operations will then move across the street, liquor license and all, leaving the former convenience store space, which is larger than the new one will be –vacant and available for another use. He doesn’t plan to sell the building, but anyone interested in leasing it can contact him, Patel said.

Patel aims to have the project completed by the end of this year, he said, and anticipates the new business will open in January, 2020.

Asked what’s going on right now, Patel said he plans to order the in-ground gasoline tanks this month, with delivery in about three months, which he said is the standard wait period.

It might seem to be slow going, but the good news is that by early next year, the town, which has been without a gas station for some time, will finally have one again. “It’s all positive” Patel said.