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Jan 27, 2011 3:25 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Hess Express Gas Station Set To Open In Quogue

Jan 27, 2011 3:25 PM

QUOGUE—The Hess Express gas station on Montauk Highway in Quogue is slated to open for business this week, four months after workers broke ground on the project.

According to Lorrie Hecker, a spokeswoman for Hess, the gas station—located at the intersection of Montauk Highway and Jessup Avenue—is expected to open on Friday, January 28.

“We’re eager to open the station and begin serving the Quogue community,” Ms. Heckler wrote in an e-mail on Tuesday. “To ensure a great experience for our customers, there are some standard preparations and procedures we need to complete before we open a new Hess station. Barring any unforeseen issues, we are looking to open the new Quogue Hess station by the end of this week.”

Construction on the Hess station was completed two weeks ago, aside from landscaping that will take place in the spring. According to Mayor Peter Sartorius, the contract between the Hess Express and the village specifically states that the company must complete any landscaping of the property before July.

Hess company officials had originally aimed to open the gas station last week, according to village Building Inspector Ed Wolfersdorf, but had to wait for a temporary certificate of occupancy to be issued. The certificate of occupancy was ultimately issued on Monday, according to Mr. Wolfersdorf.

The mayor announced during a January 21 meeting of the Quogue Village Board of Trustees that Village Police Chief Robert B. Coughlan and Lieutenant Christopher Isola had met with the manager of the station, Henry Durdu. Mr. Sartorius said he felt it was a good idea for police to meet with that manager because of where the station is located. He said that both officers felt it was a positive meeting.

“We don’t have a lot of new retail businesses open in Quogue—but this station is in a prominent location where there is potentially quite a lot of traffic exiting and entering,” Mr. Sartorius wrote in an e-mail on Wednesday. “I think it just makes sense for the police to know the Hess manager. Meeting with the manager was just good police practice, in my opinion.”

Lt. Isola said on Tuesday that he and the chief had met two weeks ago with the manager, who has managed several other Hess Express stations on Long Island.

The new Hess station has 12 gas pumps, and will be Quogue’s only gas station. The station also has a small shop that will sell food and drinks, as well as beer. Lt. Isola noted that the station was currently awaiting the arrival of its liquor license.

In preparation for its opening, the Quogue Village Board unanimously voted to make the stretch of Montauk Highway directly in front of the station a no parking zone. The portion of Jessup Avenue adjacent to the station is already a no parking zone, according to Mr. Sartorius.

The Hess Express takes the place of a Shell gas station that operated there until it closed in 2007. After two years of standing vacant and deteriorating, the mayor decided to contact the Hess corporation, which has been leasing the land from landowner SPJ LLC since 2007, in an effort to speed up development of the site. He made a written appeal to John B. Hess, chairman and CEO of the Hess Corporation, asking that the company accelerate its plans to build the gas station—or at least to demolish the existing building. The mayor noted that he had received numerous complaints that the empty station was an eyesore.

After a series of interactions between the mayor and the Hess corporation, crews began demolishing the former Shell station in September. Construction of the new gas station was completed about two weeks ago. Recently, yellow caution tape was draped over the gas pumps and village residents have been seen slowing down in front the station in order to check the progress of the new Hess Express.

For Mr. Sartorius, the opening of the gas station is the end of a crusade. “I’m happy with the way it turned out,” he said.

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Congrats to Mayor Sartorius for being dogged in his pursuit of Hess. And ultimately to Hess for responding too.
By EastEndHomie (27), Southampton on Jan 26, 11 12:00 PM