Construction begins on Waterbury-LaSalle gas station

A Hess Express is finally coming to Waterbury-LaSalle.

Construction work will begin this June on a gas station project, located at the corner of Baisley and East Tremont avenues, that had been stalled for three years due to the poor economy, Hess Corporation spokeswoman Lorrie Hecker confirmed.

The site will include fuel pumps and a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week on-site convenience store where a Shell service station operated until 2007.

The gas station was originally to open in mid-2008, but since that time residents have had to stare at a vacant lot. A plywood work fence with a sign announcing that Hess is coming, has been erected around the site.

“We reassessed the timing of some projects based on the economy at that time,” Hecker stated, going onto say that the location was chosen because it had good traffic flow and offered convenient access for customers.

Local homeowners had suggested that during the delay, the empty lot could be used as a parking facility, and even pitched the idea to Hess Corporation.

“It’s been more than three years since Hess took over the old Shell gas station and gave us an empty lot to look at,” said Andrew Chirico, of the Waterbury LaSalle Community Association. “Many times we suggested that they at least make an interim parking lot for the community while they decided when they would build their new gas station, but they would not.”

Nevertheless, Chirico and the WLCA are pleased that there should be a gas station at the location, which according to Hecker, should be open before the end of the year.

“We are grateful that we will soon have a new gas station in the neighborhood,” Chirico stated. “But we still have concerns over the proposed 24/7 store that goes along with it.”

The community has requested that Hess Corporation close the convenience store at midnight in an effort to curb noise, and also not to sell beer because of concerns about drinking and driving, but so far, Hess has said no, Chirico stated. The site will be Hess’ seventh in the Bronx.

Community Board 10 chairman John Marano said the Hess Corporation has been responsive to the fenc-repair requsts.

“Anytime that Hess Corporation had to be reached out to in order to fix the fence or remove weeds, they were very receptive,” Marano said. “Without a doubt, the station will definitely beautify East Tremont Avenue.”

Senator Jeff Klein’s office has been following the project, and the senator expressed relief that after several false starts, it now looks like they are seeing some movement.

“Hess has informed my office that they will begin construction this month,” Klein stated. “This site has been an eyesore for far too long and I am hopeful that we will finally achieve some much-needed progress at this location.”

More from Around NYC