After years as a dead and decaying corner lot, the North Avenue Food Mart is now open at 452 North Avenue, the corner of Lincoln Avenue and North Avenue.
Business at the gas pump was brisk yesterday.
"So far, so good," said Babu Madhani, the owner of the North Avenue Food Mart
Madhani says the gas station will either be a Gulf Station or a Citgo Station, depending on negotiations with fuel suppliers.
For New Rochelle Development Commissioner Mike Freimuth, activating that corner is a special source of pride.
"This became a 'pet' project of mine," said Freimuth. "I walked past that corner every day, coming up from the train station to City Hall."
Freimuth says the City began enforcement action at the North Avenue Food Mart location but soon learned that the owners had a deal in the works that has just resulted in the opening of a new station.
"We worked with the owners to get the project approved." said Freimuth. "That included working through some neighborhood opposition."
Madhani can expect more down the road.
"We are looking to go 24/7", he said.
Similar efforts over the past year to gain City approval for 24/7 operations along the North Avenue corridor have failed due to opposition from residents of surrounding neighborhoods.
Freimuth also worked on the other side of the street, a property owned by Exxon/Mobil.
"The City became more aggressive with Exxon/Mobil to force action at the northwest corner, a small old block station." said Freimuth.
Freimuth says he proposed that the City would buy the small lot for $1.00 but Exxon/Mobil wanted market price. Freimuth upped the offer to $10.00, explaining that the property was not a "buildable" lot. The negotiations led to an agreement that Exxon/Mobil would demolish and clean the site. A fuel tank was removed and the area remediated. The work was undertaken and completed this past year.