A long awaited Hess Express has finally opened in Waterbury LaSalle.
Shortly before Christmas, the Hess Express station gas station and convenience mart, which had been delayed for almost three years due to the national recession, opened on the corner of E. Tremont and Baisley avenues, said Waterbury LaSalle Civic Association board member Mary Jane Musano. Construction on the project at 3355 E. Tremont Avenue began in June, after the site had remained unused since a Shell station at the location closed in 2007.
The new gas station fills a void in the community because it replaces land that had been unused, but the 24-hour convenience store is not something that many residents of Waterbury LaSalle are in favor of, Musano said, adding that she has mixed feelings about the project.
Musano said, “It seems like almost every business that opens in Waterbury LaSalle now is a 24-hour business. Some people are also saying that having two gas stations at the corner would increase competition and reduce prices, but so far, I have not seen that happening.”
The Hess Corporation believes that to be a convenient one-stop-shop for customers on the go, it is important that they be open around the clock, said Hess Corporation spokeswoman Lorrie Hecker. The broad range of offerings of the convenience store include a wide variety of beverages, candy, snacks, and cigarettes; a full line of All-American Grill options; and Good-to-Go fresh food with quality ingredients, Hecker said.
The gas station has 12 pumps, including diesel pumps, and the store has 2,500 square-feet-of space, Hecker stated. The Hess Express will be an asset to the community, Hecker stated.
The gas station and convenience store may not generate enough business during the late evening and early morning hours to justify staying open 24-hours-a-day, said WLCA board member Andrew Chirico.
“I object to the 24-hour part of the new location, and the fact that they are selling beer to people in cars,” Chirico said. “We never want a 24-hour business in the neighborhood because it can bring noise and gangs. This is a residential area. It is not like we are on the New Jersey Turnpike.” Not all Hess Express locations are open 24 hours, Hecker said.
Hess is planning a grand opening celebration in this spring, with prizes, giveaways, and special offers, Hecker stated. A date for that celebration has yet to be set, she said.
Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 742-3393