A Janesville property owner plans to revamp the corner of Memorial Drive and Washington Street by razing an existing storefront and building a new gas station and convenience store.
Manish Dadwal said demolition is slated to start next week on the current 3,400-square-foot circa-1960 storefront with an attached office at 1009 N. Washington St. on the city’s west side.
Dadwal said he plans to remove the existing buildings and build a 4,300-square-foot Mobil gas station and convenience store.
Dadwal has owned the property, which is on the northwest corner of the intersection since 2016. The storefront was last the home of Jeff’s Coffee Bar, which vacated the building in 2017.
Over the last two years, Dadwal said he has worked on various plans to bring a franchise convenience store and gas station to the property. He said he tried to buy the building a few times in the past with the idea of developing it as a convenience store.
The new station could open in November. It will include new gas pumps, a store and—at some point, Dadwal hopes—a sandwich shop.
Initially, Dadwal looked at retrofitting the existing buildings, but he said the main building had foundation problems that would have been costly to fix.
”The building is not level. The cost would have been so much, almost the same as building a new building,” he said. “We said, ‘Why don’t we have a new project?’”
Dadwal has owned the Milton Avenue Mobil station at 1215 Milton Ave. since 2013.
That station is a private franchise, as would be the new station at West Memorial Drive, he said.
Dadwal was drawn to the idea of opening a second gas station and a new convenience store in the neighborhood west of the Memorial Bridge.
“A good neighborhood is there. A lot of traffic and a hospital, too. That’s the reason I was thinking about putting another station there,” he said.
He said the new station, which he plans to call the Memorial Drive Mobil, gives residents who live a few miles from the closest supermarket a nearby grocery option.
The nearest full convenience store is a Kwik Trip across the Rock River on Memorial Drive, a half-mile to the east.
For pedestrians walking from the west-side neighborhood, a walk to that Kwik Trip requires a 20-minute round trip across the Memorial Bridge.
Dadwal said the new station, which will be built by Bachmann Construction of Madison, has a larger footprint than many franchise gas stations under development now. New gas stations that are 4,000 square feet or bigger are usually corporate-owned.
“It’s sort of big,” he said. “But you need to have a little bit bigger store. It’s good for the neighborhood and good for the customer.”This story has been altered from an earlier version to correct the name of a coffee shop that earlier was located at 1009 N. Washington St.