Mobil station at Williston exit to get restaurant

Published: Tuesday, January 11, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 10, 2005 at 11:22 p.m.
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All that remained of the Mobil station on SW Williston Road at Interstate 75 Thursday afternoon was a skeleton of the awning and a pile of rubble being sorted by Tropical Recycling.

MICHAEL C. WEIMAR/The Gainesville Sun
The 1960s-circa gasoline station at the entrance to the northbound on-ramp of Interstate 75 at Williston Road is getting a 21st Century makeover.
The Mobil station, owned by Joel and Lynn Rousseau for 20 years, is being demolished and rebuilt, said Todd Rousseau, vice president of Rousseau Enterprises, which owns seven gas station/convenience stores in the North Central Florida area.
The new station will feature three gasoline grades and diesel fuel as well as a full convenience store and a fast-food franchise - which one is yet to be determined. The restaurant will feature seating and drive-through. Rousseau said 90 percent of the business is expected to be local - drawing from commuters, Oak Hammock residents and employees at Nationwide, CH2M-Hill and other professional offices nearby - with the remainder from I-75 travelers.
Barnie's Coffee will be sold inside, and there will be a self-service walk-in cooler called the Beer Cave. A car wash will complete the complex.
Tropical Recycling, a Gainesville commercial deconstruction firm owned by Bob Garrett, took the steel building apart last week and will recycle or reuse all the siding, concrete and asphalt, Rousseau said.
While the underground storage tanks were replaced about five yeas ago, Rousseau said new ones are being installed. Extensive landscaping also is planned for the site. Work is expected to be completed by late April.
The Mobil station will enjoy high visibility in the new Publix shopping center under construction. The station's entrance will be one of the main entryways to the plaza, Rousseau said.
Plans for redoing the station have been in the works for about five years, he added. The property has been annexed into the city.
Motorists will have the option of buying fuel via Exxon/Mobil "Speedpass," which is free and uses a radio frequency to turn the pumps and the car wash on and off. The key-ring-mounted wand communicates the purchase amount to be taken either from a credit card or debit card.
Speedpass also is available by purchasing a specially-enabled Timex watch - costing $45 to $50, men and women's styles - that has the radio device in its band.

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