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NOCO Express to Expand Mobil Mart at Lexington and Elmwood

NOCO Express has purchased the Mobil Mart station at the corner of Elmwood and Lexington*. This news could be taken in a couple of different ways. As an urban design opportunity and as a “community watch”.

NOCO has the opportunity to undo some urban injustices to this corner, and could create a gas station and mini mart that reflects the rest of the Elmwood Village aesthetic dynamic. One look at the corner, and you can see that it is a hodgepodge of shoddy planters and strips of asphalt (where grass should be). While it’s not the worse gas station corner on the street (for now), it certainly has a long way to go to create an aesthetic look that jibes with the rest of the street. There are plenty of examples of nice looking gas stations out there. Unfortunately, Buffalo only has one that I can think of, and that’s at the corner of Allen and Delaware (thanks to the preservation community).

As for “The Watch”, I have been told that there are a number of people in the community that are fearful that NOCO would be looking to knock down an adjacent house in order to put a drive-thru. A member of the Elmwood Village Association (EVA) that I spoke with said that she was not aware of any intentions to do such a thing, and assured me that EVA has made it clear that they take the stance of prohibiting drive-thrus on Elmwood.

In a recent press release, NOCO stated that it will be expanding its Tim Horton’s presence at the corner. The station is also open 24-7, partially due to a suggestion from the police department that an around the clock station would be a big deterrent to any potential crime in the neighborhood.

Taking a look at Google maps, the overall footprint of the corner looks like it would be big enough to put a drive-thru in without knocking anything down. Plus, I imagine that the community wouldn’t fight tooth and nail to preserve the properties, if any of them were to be in jeopardy, which at this time it does not appear to be the case. But, if any drive-thru were to be added, that would set a precedent for the street, which is a slippery slope… even when negotiating for give (design enhancements) and take (drive-thru) negotiations.

As for the look of the station, NOCO says that the Mobil brand will remain. A a full-service Tim Horton’s is on the way, along with expanded offerings by the brand of Nickel City Foods.

“We are excited to take ownership of our second Elmwood Avenue Mobil Mart in less than six months,” said Jim DeFilippis, general manager, NOCO Express. “Once completed, these renovations and new offerings will provide a fresh new look and more of the products that today’s on-the-go customers expect from their local convenience store.”

NOCO has the opportunity to be a great community partner here. In a perfect world, what would you want to see take place at this corner?

*This past May, NOCO also acquired (and renovated) the Mobil Mart at the corner of Elmwood and Forest. 


Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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