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May 20, 2014 | 03:03 PMThe southwest corner of Williams and Marshall streets will be cleared and cleaned by Kwik Trip and then either offered up for development or gifted to the city, according to Hans Zietlow, director of real estate for the LaCrosse-based retailer.
The former Clark Station that was on that corner is now closed, its drive blocked off by wire fencing.
Zietlow said it is the company’s policy to remediate old gas stations and convenience stores.
“There are so many old, ratty convenience stores out there, where the cost of cleaning up the site is greater than the value of the land it sits on,” Zietlow said.
“Since we were accused of creating eyesores, we decided to clean one up,” he said. “We bought it and will remove the tanks and do remediation.”
The operators of the small Clark station, 728 Williams St., were opposed to Kwik Trip moving into the Williams Street area, as were several other nearby gas and service station owners.
Kwik Trip first approached the plan commission in October 2013 with plans to build a new gas station/convenience store on three parcels at 612, 630 and 700 Williams St., just south of the Clark station.
Their request brought out a number of opponents, including owners and operators of nearby service stations.
They argued that the city doesn’t need another gas station, the station would be poorly located and that it would drive some of them out of business.
Jacqueline Brower, Cincinnati, operator of the Clark station, was one of those who appeared before the Lake Geneva Plan Commission and the city council to oppose Kwik Trip.
Zietlow said that once Kwik Trip received city approval for its conditional use, the owners of the Clark station came to Kwik Trip and offered the property for sale.
Zietlow said the leaseholders of the property bought the property from the owner and then came to Kwik Trip with the offer to sell.
The company closed on the Clark Station property two weeks ago. Zietlow said the previous owners were headquartered in Cincinnati.
Kwik Trip plans called for clearing the site of three buildings, a former gas station, a 40,000 square-foot former factory and a travel agency.
Parts of the former factory were still standing as of last week, but the travel agency and former gas station are gone.
In their place, Kwik Trip will put up a 6,000 square-foot convenience store, six fuel pumps and a one-bay car wash.
The company has said that the new station/convenience store will cost about $3 million and employ up to 30 people.
The Lake Geneva Kwik Trip is one of 30 new stores the company is opening this year.
Zietlow said the company wants to complete construction of the new gas station/convenience store by the end of August.