Contractors Clear North Charlotte ‘Eyesore’ Building

Contractors Clear North Charlotte 'Eyesore' Building
The building as it appeared during August 2017, with its aging pumps still standing

LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – After spending decades as a sentinel building at the Mervine and North Charlotte streets’ gateway to Lower Pottsgrove – some of them bustling with business and, according to the township, some of them as a public eyesore (above) and safety hazard – the former fuel station and convenience store at 1258 N. Charlotte St. was brought down (at top) by contractors Wednesday (July 27, 2022).

In its place will rise a new fueling station only, approved by the township and owned and operated by Redner’s Warehouse Markets. It will serve as a companion facility to the company’s supermarket in the adjacent North End Shopping Center.

Once completed during coming months, the self-serve station and its staffed 210-square-foot kiosk is expected to be open daily Mondays through Sundays from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., company representatives earlier told township zoning and planning officials. It will be sheltered with a fully recessed canopy, and features exterior lighting the company said residential neighbors would not find intrusive.

Contractors Clear North Charlotte 'Eyesore' Building
The fenced lot as seen Wednesday morning at around 9 a.m., with half of the building demolished and debris on its east side

Action to move ahead on the new construction, which had been delayed since late 2020 in part by the coronavirus pandemic, marks a start to the end of almost 14 years of lobbying by members of the township Board of Commissioners. Time and again they sought to do something about the deteriorating, and generally deemed unsightly, small steel-frame and cinder-block structure.

Contractors Clear North Charlotte 'Eyesore' Building
A worker with a cutting torch was separating pieces of structural steel to be more easily hauled away

For years it housed a station and pumps owned by a two-brother Chester County-based team who had a falling out, followed by financial troubles. Year after year the subject of what to do with the building and its property which, due to a former underground fuel tank also was considered a potential environmental hazard, arose on the commissioners’ agenda.

Township codes enforcement officers cited the owners for offenses and infractions. Little happened, because the property was caught up in court proceedings. Ultimately, the township itself removed what it said was unsafe equipment. Commissioners considered buying the property, but later decided against it after solicitors warned Lower Pottsgrove could be liable for substantial clean-up costs.

The property even went up for bid on Montgomery County tax sale auctions. No one wanted it then.

Redner’s became interested in the parcel as a national trend of supermarkets aligning themselves with gas stations gained momentum. The property was purchased in March 2020 for $76,000, county property records show.

  • Editor’s Note: This story was edited and revised Friday (July 29, 2022) to remove a reference to the brand name of gasoline once sold at the former station.

Photos by The Post