A backhoe and trash container (above) stand outside the gas station and mini-mart on East High
SANATOGA PA – The former Sunoco gas station and convenience market at 2177 E. High St., which was closed almost four months ago and has since been vacant, has a new owner and could re-open soon, Lower Pottsgrove Zoning Officer and Director of Codes Joe Groff confirms.
A small construction crew has been making exterior and interior repairs to the property during the past two weeks. During Thursday’s (Oct. 1, 2015) rain, workers could be seen tending to portions of the concrete pad that lead to the store’s front entrance. Groff said he’s already spoken with a representative of the owner, which Montgomery County property records report as S. Kaur Lower Pottsgrove LP of Harleysville PA, and said it has been cooperative and helpful.
Although the company is doing only repairs for which no permit was needed, its representative “was pleasant, and said he’d be willing to consider several suggestions I made” for improvements, Groff said.
The firm settled Aug. 20 on the purchase of the triangularly shaped lot at the corner of East High and Sunnyside Avenue, and its accompanying 720-square-foot building, at a price of $240,000, county records show. A former building on the site was demolished in 2001, and the Sunoco-branded station erected in its place later that year.
It is Groff’s understanding that both the gas station and mini-mart will be open for business, but he said he does not know what gasoline brand will be sold there.
The impending return of the operation brings a small measure of relief to township officials who have seen a slow but steady decline in the Sanatoga village economy over several years.
Hollywood Video, Game Crazy, and InkStop all closed years ago in the Sanatoga Village Center and remain vacant. The Sanatoga K-Mart adjacent to the center closed in August 2014; the property is being actively marketed for new tenants but so far without success.
The Sanatoga Thriftway supermarket, which closed in mid-August of this year, was expected to re-open but has not due to a pending bankruptcy. And the nearby Tri-County Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram auto dealership at 2148 E. High St. is expected to leave that location and re-locate to Limerick Township within only weeks.
Not all the news is bleak, though. Landscaping contractor HEB LLC opened during June at the site of the former J.C. Ehrlich Pest Control building at 2169 E. High, and continues to improve its property there with new fencing now being installed. Also, area resident Bill Parker during August opened the first Pennsylvania franchise store for Paradise Donuts at 2170 E. High St.