New St. John Gas Station Construction Is Continuing on South Shore Road

Despite complaints from several neighbors in the area, construction of a new gas station in Estate Chocolate Hole, above, is moving right along.

While Department of Planning and Natural Resources officials have cited the developers of Love City’s new gas station several times for over-excavation in recent weeks, the issues have been addressed, according to DPNR’s Division of Comprehensive and Coastal Zone Planning Director Stuart Smith.

“We have had issues there in the past with over-excavation, but they have been solved,” said Smith. “We’re fully aware of what is going on out there. We have an inspector that drives by daily.”

When developer Nedal Salem originally shared plans for the Estate Chocolate Hole gas station in late 2010, he was met with opposition from many residents, who voiced concerns with the site’s steepness and proximity to the existing E&C Service Station.

Despite the objections, the 0.473-acre land is zoned B-3, business scattered, which allows for the construction of a gas station among myriad other commercial enterperises. After getting the green light from DPNR in 2011, development has been ongoing.

Plans for the Estate Chocolate Hole gas station, located adjacent to the St. John Market parking lot, call for a three story structure housing six apartments and a 24-hour convenience store in addition to the four pump service station with two above ground storage tanks capable of holding 25,000 gallons each.

Since the Estate Chocolate Hole site is located in the island’s Tier 2 development area, the project did not come under the scrutiny of the St. John Coastal Zone Management Commission.

Several residents in the area, however, continue to claim that the roadway above the development, which leads to the Estate Power Boyd neighborhood, has been undermined due to the over-excavation at the gas station construction site.