Business & Development, Creswell

76 station coming into focus

EMMA ROUTLEY/THE CHRONICLE With the old and new convenience stores side-by-side behind them, Bill Spencer, right, and Sam Scott overlook an active construction site.

CRESWELL – The redevelopment of a landmark gas station and surrounding property along Oregon Avenue has been on center stage since spring, and all efforts are being made to ensure the curtain rises as planned. Owner Bill Spencer, however, said weather will determine the opening date as much as any other factor.

“We will only be able to open this year if the weather is cooperative,” he said Monday.

Still, Spencer said he and his partners are hoping to pump fuel by late December.

“We expect to have some of the new pumps open for Christmas,” he said this past weekend before starting another shift helping prepare the lot for concrete and asphalt work. 

The two-story convenience store, already visible from the I-5 interchange even before its bright facade is installed, will likely open in early January 2021. The new store windows were delayed, a common scenario since the construction phase began in May with the demolition of the building that once housed Dairy Queen and Joe’s Diner for decades.

Spencer has been juggling multiple agencies and contractors in the midst of the pandemic during the past six months, and said he continues to face shifting timelines around key pieces of the bigger puzzle. 

“People would be amazed at how much goes into building a gas station,” he said while sitting among blueprints and schematics scattered all over a large conference room. 

Despite the obstacles, he noted progress through the past three months: 

αNew convenience store is framed 

αNew gas dispensers are installed 

αA water pipe placed under Oregon Ave.

αThe footing has been poured for the signage 

For as much sweat equity as Spencer has put into the redevelopment project from demolition through this week, he’s quick to point out others’ contributions. Commercial contractors, city workers, current employees and neighboring businesses have all been helpful, he said. 

“Jeff Heater is the general contractor, and he is awesome,” Spencer said. “The crews have been flexible with their hours and working around different problems we encounter. And I can’t stress enough how patient and understanding our fellow business owners have been.”

EMMA ROUTLEY/THE CHRONICLEThe new dispensers are installed.

He specifically mentioned the ownership team at My Boys, where Spencer has been purchasing pizzas as a show of thanks for them and all of his work crews. 

Spencer, who often is on the construction site before 6 a.m. to coordinate, oversee and, well, climb into any number of construction vehicles – won’t be relaxing too much this holiday. Racing against time, his punch list includes:  

α Finishing the roof and the exterior 

α Installing doors and windows to complete “dry in” phase

α Installing electricity 

α Installing point-of-sale software

α Concrete and asphalt installation 

Lastly, as planned from the beginning, the installation of a car wash remains a “second phase” project, still projected as a 2021 initiative. Demolition of the old gas station and convenience store will take place first.



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