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posted: 9/6/2012 9:16 PM

New gas station, convenience store combo planned in Vernon Hills

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  • Omaha-based Buchanan Energy plans to demolish the old Mobil gas station on Route 60 in Vernon Hills and replace it with a new station, convenience store and car wash.

      Omaha-based Buchanan Energy plans to demolish the old Mobil gas station on Route 60 in Vernon Hills and replace it with a new station, convenience store and car wash.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer


An aging gas station with a car wash on Route 60 in Vernon Hills is on track to be replaced from the ground up in what members of a village review committee felt was a long overdue improvement.

But the demolition of the Mobil station at 294 E. Townline Road and construction of a bigger facility to include a convenience store would come with a passel of conditions and a close eye by the village board on what it will look like.

Buchanan Energy Co. of Omaha wants to build a Bucky's Express to include a gas station, minimart and car wash on about an acre and a half at Route 60 and Ring Road between the Westfield Hawthorn and Hawthorn Village Commons shopping centers.

The company over the past two years has purchased 81 company-owned Mobil stations throughout the Chicago area and has been rolling out the Bucky's brand. Depending on the timing, the Vernon Hills project could be the first completely new facility. The company is scheduled to get a decision Monday from Buffalo Grove trustees about a project there, and the Carol Stream village board last month approved zoning variances for a Bucky's.

Vernon Hills' planning and zoning commission recently approved the project by a 5-1 vote, with the comment that improvements at that location were overdue. The Mobil station is thought to have been built in the early 1970s.

The village board on Wednesday recommended an ordinance granting approval, subject to 19 conditions that include variations for setbacks, landscaping and other items be drafted for future action.

To be open 24 hours, the brick and concrete facility would include eight gas pump islands -- twice as many as are there now -- under a 199-foot canopy. A 4,800-square-foot convenience store, tunnel-style car wash and vacuum station also are in the plan. Existing entrances would be modified for traffic purposes.

"It's going to be brand-new from under the ground to the top," said Richard McMahon, a representative for Buchanan. "I have never been in a community that has been so intensive and paid such attention to the details of design."

The village board also is expecting more information from Buchanan regarding the layout of the facilities on the site and architectural design of the building. Those caveats came after lengthy questioning from Mayor Roger Byrne, who was concerned about traffic congestion.

"I just don't want to have a real problem with cars that are at some times of day" stacking up, he said.

Though there is nothing completely comparable, the board will receive aerial and ground level photos of similarly configured locations before making a final decision.

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