NEWINGTON – An empty parking lot in the northeastern section of town is slated to have a gas station and convenience store by the year’s end.
A couple from Cromwell purchased 4 Hartford Ave. for $500,000 from Newington Gas Distributors on Jan. 22, according to the town’s property records.
The half-acre parcel is located at the intersection of Hartford Avenue and Main Street, across from King Donut, Yanni’s Restaurant, Italian Gourmet Deli & Bakery and Mediterranean Market and in the intersection’s southwest corner, a Shell gas station.
A gas station operated on the property many years ago but was torn down and the land remediated to remove environmental contaminants in more recent years. Diyala, LLC submitted an application to the town’s planning department last April and the Town Plan & Zoning Commission approved the site plan and special permit in June.
“We started the process last year and then covid hit and everything got pushed back,” said Jawa Shalo, who recently purchased the property with her husband Shadi.
They are now finalizing approvals with the state Department of Transportation and plan to break ground this spring.
The Shalos also own the Olive Bazaar, a Middle-Eastern grocery store in Berlin, and a Citgo in Plainville. They are looking forward to joining the Newington community.
“We’re hoping to provide more than just a gas station and a regular convenient store,” Jawa said. “We’re hoping to provide easy, one-stop shopping with to-go foods, milk and bread that working people can pick up on their way home. We want to provide people in the surrounding neighborhoods a service.”
The couple has yet to settle on a name for their store, but did confirm it will feature Sunoco fuel.
“We’re hoping by late summer or early fall we will be open for business,” Jawa added. “So far, timing has doubled with the pandemic, so it’s still tentative.”
Owners of surrounding businesses did not return calls for comment on their soon-to-be neighbor Thursday.
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.