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New Lakewood Station General Store taking shape
MARYSVILLE Its going to be a convenience store on steroids, but it will take some doing to get there.
Lakewood resident Myron Gemmer has bought the Lakewood Grocery from longtime operator Dennis Bray and is building a huge replacement next door to the current neighborhood fixture.
Construction workers last week installed state-of-the-art holding tanks for a wide variety of fuels at the site across 172nd Street from Lakewood High School. The 4,800-square-foot building is designed with the comfort of customers in mind, including beautiful wooden beams throughout the store and over the interactive gas pumps. Even the parking stalls along the building sides will be sheltered from the elements by huge overhangs that people can drive and park under with out any columns or pillars to get in the way.
The store will feature a railroad station motif to reflect the history of the area, home to the former English Crossing railroad station, according to engineer Hans Brinkerhoff, a partner and operating manager of the venture.
Its kind of where we got our inspiration, Brinkerhoff said. Myron wants to do it nice. You can tell, everythings going to be handcrafted.
There will be a 1,200-square-foot, full-service deli serving healthy meals and fresh, locally grown produce. It will eventually feature a fresh bakery, according to Gemmer. Even the high-speed gas pumps will be healthy, offering a variety of gas, diesels, ethanol and bio-fuels from day one, Gemmer explained.
We are going to have the ability out of the gate to offer everything the government requires, Gemmer said.
That will include red diesel for off-road equipment used by farmers and contractors, and he takes pride in explaining how semi-trucks will have their own dedicated high-speed pumps at the rear of the store so as not to bother regular vehicles at the front pumps. Fuel suppliers for the Shell brands will also park their tankers at the rear of the store to fill the five 20,000-gallon tanks, so as to keep the customer pumps in business 24/7. Just routing the pipes for that cost an extra $40,000, but the owners say its worth it to keep their customers happy.
Its more of an investment than we have to make but were trying to think of the future, Brinkerhoff said.
The $3 million store should open in November, and has been in the planning for two years, Brinkerhoff added.
Last week workers were using a huge crane to install the last of the in-ground tanks that are designed to keep the environment safe, featuring double walls with an interior space between them that is constantly monitored for leakage.
Its a tank-in-a-tank, said John Hines of Evergreen Environmental Service as the last tank was hoisted in the air on Aug. 30. Looking like a huge Tylenol 15-feet in diameter, it was gently nudged into place next to four others at the bottom of a pit in the back of the site.
Hes going to have a lot of storage capacity because hes anticipating alternate fuels for the future, Hines added.
Brinkerhoff said Gemmer even wants to have charging stations for electric cars when that technology becomes practical, and he added that the project will include adding a left-hand turn lane for a third of a mile from the railroad tracks east to 11th Avenue NE.
Were going to widen the road, and the state is loving that, Brinkerhoff said.
Gemmer owns 30 acres from the railroad tracks to almost 11th Avenue. 20-acres are zoned for mixed-use commercial and another 10 for high-density residential, according to Gemmer, and the Lakewood Station General Store is the first phase, to be followed by professional offices or a medical center. Brinkerhoff said zoning allows 45-foot-high buildings, meaning four story structures are possible.
Itll have to wait until the infrastructure gets here, Brinkerhoff said.