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Sunoco station closes in Mt. Pleasant

| Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
The Sunoco station on West Main Street in Mt. Pleasant Borough recently closed. The building and property are owned by Sg2 Pittsburgh LLC, which is headquartered in Pittsburgh. Attempts to reach officials there for comment on why the business closed have been unsuccessful.
Kelly Vernon | The Mt. Pleasant Journal
The Sunoco station on West Main Street in Mt. Pleasant Borough recently closed. The building and property are owned by Sg2 Pittsburgh LLC, which is headquartered in Pittsburgh. Attempts to reach officials there for comment on why the business closed have been unsuccessful.

First it was full-service, then it was self-service, now it is no service at the former Sunoco station at 819 W. Main St. in Mt. Pleasant.

All this after the franchise, owned by Sg2 Group Pittsburgh LLC, closed in late August.

Borough Mayor Jerry Lucia said he still has not received confirmation on exactly why the business closed.

“I want to make it clear that we did not run this business out of town,” Lucia said.

Officials of Sg2 Group Pittsburgh LLC did not return calls seeking comment.

In September 2011, borough council unanimously voted to amend an ordinance that previously required borough gas stations to provide full-service gasoline exclusively, after a local station owner complained that the full-service-only ordinance prevented him from turning a profit.

Naveed Chowdhry, owner of the Valero service station located farther west on Main Street in the borough, asked council to consider updating the requirement.

The amendment allowed for the Valero and Sunoco gas stations — at the time the only two in the borough — to offer self-service gasoline five days a week, as long as they maintained full-service provisions two days per week.

“We went from full-service to self-service to help out all the stations in town, so we did our part,” Lucia said.

Prior to the vote, Mt. Pleasant was reportedly one of the only municipalities in Pennsylvania to still maintain an ordinance requiring full service.

Chowdhry said he still offers the full-service option daily to those who are elderly or disabled.

“They just beep and I help them (with full-service),” he said.

Borough Council President Joe Bauer said he also did not know why the Sunoco station closed.

“We did what we could to help these businesses,” Bauer said. “What happened there? I really don't have a clue.”

Neither does Chowdhry, who now runs the only gas station in town.

“I have no idea what happened,” he said, adding that being permitted to offer self-service has dramatically improved business at his location.

“It makes a tremendous difference. When people come in to pay for gas, that improves my retail sales,” he said. “Before I could offer self-serve, I thought I was going to have to close my place.”

Now that the Sunoco property is vacant, Lucia said he expects the owner to continue to maintain it properly.

“We want to make sure the grass is cut and things,” he said.

A sign on the vacant building reads that it is for sale.

The sign instructs those interested in inquiring about the purchase of the building to call 412-306-0269, ext. 2015.

A.J. Panian is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-547-5722 or apanian@tribweb.com.

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