Tag Archives: Fair Haven Sunoco

Former FH Sunoco at a Standstill

Site of the former Fair Haven Sunoco gas station Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Site of the former Fair Haven Sunoco gas station
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

It seems as if plans for future development at the Fair Haven Sunoco station have run out of the gas to drive them home.

One thing, though, seems pretty clear — that the site at 626 River Road won’t become another gas station.

The site has been completely cleared of underground tanks and remediated for safe development. But it’s static and empty, with no sign of any sort of comeback — not yet, anyway.

“There’s no tenant,” Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli said. “It’s in a state of limbo between Sunoco and someone who may or may not be under contract (to develop the site). The site has been decommissioned and debranded, so one would assume that was done for a transfer of title. Maybe, maybe not.”

Who that title would have been or is in the works of being transferred to, the mayor said he did not know.

As for the notion of another gas station, not only have the tanks to make that a reality been removed, but “that business model in a small town is shot,” Lucarelli said. “Any new gas station being built right now is something like a WaWa or a Quick Check, with 16-24 pump operations on big highways.”

There used to be several gas stations between Rumson and Fair Haven. Now each borough is down to one.

Fair Haven is in the process of reworking its master plan. There has been talk of some zone changes and alterations.

What sort of development do you think the site, now zoned for business, is ripe for? 


Fate of Former Fair Haven Sunoco?

By Elaine Van Develde 

It’s official. Fair Haven is down to one gas station in town.

As locals have long speculated what will replace the nearly three-year shuttered former Fair Haven Sunoco at the corner of River Road and Cedar Avenue, equipment has been digging into the tarred lot, fenced-in lot and officials have only confirmed that it will not be re-purposed as another gas station.

In fact, they said at Monday night’s Borough Council meeting, all the excavation by EV Banta Co., of East Orange, is about the “decommission of the (gas) tanks” on the site. That’s all.

No plans for anything to be built at the site have yet been submitted to the Planning Board.

Yet, because of the permits acquired for the decommissioning, it is clear to officials that “there is no intention to keep it as a gas station,” Fair Haven Administrator Theresa Casagrande said.

Zoned for business use, no one offered any more information about what may be unofficially planned by a lessee or new owner. For a couple of years a “For Lease” sign was hung on one of the building’s bays.

The site long housed a gas station under management at different intervals. In its last life, it was Rich’s Ultra Sunoco. Rich’s could no longer afford the lease, Mayor Ben Lucarelli had said. Before that, it was Duckworth’s Sunoco. And that list of gas stations on the plat of land goes back a long time.

The only remaining gas station in the 1.4-square-mile borough will now be the Valero a few blocks away on River Road, formerly Ray Miller’s Exxon and Esso at one point.

Years back, there were yet another three, besides Valero and Sunoco, gas stations in town: another on the opposite corner from Sunoco, at Cedar and Hance roads; one sat on the corner of Gillespie Avenue and River Road, where a veterinarian’s office now sits; another was on the corner of Fair Haven and River roads, where Balderose Fine Foods now sits; and yet another was where the Foreign Cars of Monmouth is anchored.

Between Rumson and Fair Haven, dating back a couple of decades, there were 12 gas stations — six in Rumson and six in Fair Haven.