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Monday, June 8, 2009

Stewart's buys former Saratoga Sunoco mini mart for $1.5M

Source: The Business Review (Albany)
By Robin K. Cooper

Stewart's Shops Corp. has purchased the former Sunoco A-Plus mini mart on Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs for $1.5 million.

The acquisition from Atlantic Refining & Marketing Corp., a subsidiary of Philadelphia-based Sunoco Inc., increases the Stewart's total number of shops to 328.

"It was an opportunity to operate a store at an entrance to the city," said Stewart's marketing manager Tom Mailey.

Stewart's began operating the store last week after the Malta-based convenience store chain closed on the property.

The sale comes as Sunoco moves forward with its plan to sell 165 properties around the country, including 16 in New York. The petroleum manufacturing and marketing company hired NRC Realty Advisors LLC to oversee sales as Sunoco looked to improve its bottom line.

"These locations are being sold as part of a continuing review of Sunoco-branded retail outlets," Sunoco senior vice president of marketing Robert Owens said earlier this year.

As part of the agreement, Stewart's will sell Sunoco gas at its new 521 Broadway property.

It will be the third downtown Saratoga Springs store owned and operated by Stewart's. The family and employee-owned business already has two stores within two blocks of the Broadway corridor.

Those stores will continue operating.

Stewart's already has begun moving in its own shelving, milk and ice cream products in the new shop. The company will not be able to sell alcohol at its new store for some time while it waits for the state Liquor Authority to clear a large backlog in applications, Mailey said.

The building is about 2,600 square feet in size and is 19 years old. It is located across the street from the Saratoga Springs City Center, a convention facility which is expected to undergo a $16 million expansion and renovation.

The gas station and convenience store is located on a .56-acre lot and generated nearly $1.1 million in sales, according to NRC Realty marketing materials.

Mailey said he would expect the store will see increased business under Stewart's management.

"But I don't have a number to throw at you," he said.

Under the terms of the sale, Atlantic Refining & Marketing Corp. will have the first right of refusal to repurchase the property if Stewart's decides to sell it in the next 10 years.

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