Gas Stations Get Guzzled as D.C.'s Suburbs Densify

Reflecting a nationwide trend, gas stations across the Washington D.C. metro area are disappearing, as rising land values and shrinking margins have station owners eager to sell.
April 29, 2013, 1pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"In Bethesda, in the middle of car-loving suburbia, gas stations are going the way of the drive-in movie," observes Katherine Shaver. "Along busy Wisconsin Avenue, two Exxons and a BP have stopped selling gas or have closed completely, making way for a high-rise apartment building and a new bank. A Sunoco, the area’s last Wisconsin Avenue station, is being sold to a developer with plans for a six-floor office building."

"The dwindling number of stations reflects a transformation underway in some of Washington’s innersuburbs [sic] as they continue to evolve from car-centric sprawl into more densely developed hubs built around walking, cycling and public transit. It also underscores recent changes in the gas station industry that have made it more difficult for stations on smaller parcels to make money, leaving owners more eager to sell."

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Published on Sunday, April 28, 2013 in The Washington Post
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