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76 station redevelopment stalled but not out of gas in La Jolla

Questions as to when the shuttered 76 Unocal gas station at 801 Pearl St. would be demolished and replaced were addressed recently during a return phone call the Light received from property owner Mark Conger.

Conger, who said the property at the corner of Eads Avenue is still in escrow and that the buyer — whom Conger would only identify as a male Canadian — is “having difficulty raising the money” and has been given more time.

“He has to raise both equity and debt,” Conger explained, declining to estimate when that might happen.

Plans for a Coastal Development Permit to demolish the station and replace it with a mixed-use building featuring 12 condos, four retail spaces and an underground garage were approved by the City’s Planning Commission on Aug. 11, 2016.

City environmental staff determined that the project required preparation of a Negative Declaration because it would not result in significant impacts.

“There are three underground tanks that are completely empty and that have not leaked,” Conger said. In addition, Conger said, excavating for the new building’s underground parking garage will remove 14 feet of soil, “so if there’s any contamination, it gets pulled out anyway.”

Conger valued the transaction at $17 million and said that removal of the gas tanks — by the new owner — would cost only about $40,000.

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