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Mobil Expansion Comes Under Scrutiny of Residents

Some Kirkwood residents question plans to expand the Mobil gas station at the corner of Manchester and North Geyer Roads.

Residents from the neighborhood surrounding the at the corner of Manchester and North Geyer Roads gathered near the station Tuesday night to learn more about a proposed expansion of the longtime Kirkwood business that has some of them worried.

Kevin Kamp, senior project manager with Civil & Environmental Consultants, presented the plans to a subcommittee of the Kirkwood Planning and Zoning Commission as part of an on-site review.

The plans call for the demolition of business space at 1136-1150 Manchester Road and an extension of the station to Simmons Avenue. Construction would add four gas pumps, bringing the total number of pumps to eight, as well as an On the Run convenience store to replace the current Mobil store.

Entrances into and exits out of the station would be reduced from four to three with one on Geyer Road, one on Manchester Road and one on Simmons Avenue.

“I’m concerned about this encroaching into our neighborhood,” said Simmons Avenue resident Patty Bokern, who started a Facebook page opposing the expansion.

In addition to increased traffic along Simmons, Bokern said she is worried about loitering at the On the Run late at night and neighboring homes losing property value.

She also said that she's concerned about an increase in cars entering the station from Manchester Road because students cross the street in front of the station on their way to .

William Cody, who works at , said he also worries about the safety of students whom he sees crossing the street in front of the station.

"The average speed on Manchester is 50 mph, and there's no center lane," he said.

Some residents at the review expressed concerns about drivers cutting through the station from Geyer Road onto Simmons Avenue, as well as increased traffic along Simmons as a result of drivers avoiding Manchester while visiting the station.

Other issues raised by residents included the brightness of station lights and the height of a privacy fence along the property.

Kamp said he is confident that plans for the expansion can address residents’ concerns.

He noted that plans call for the On the Run to be built closer to Manchester Road, which would provide more of a buffer between homes and the store than what currently exists. He also pointed out that plans call for a substantial addition of green space to the proposed site.

The subcommittee will prepare its report for the Kirkwood Planning and Zoning Commission, which could be presented to the commission at its next meeting Sept. 7.

The Mobil station is owned by Wallis Companies, which also owns the .

Ron G. August 31, 2011 at 01:15 PM
We simply do not need this gas station expansion along busy manchester road and adjacent residential streets. The increased automobile and pedestrian traffic threatens the safety of the community and its residents.
John LeFort August 31, 2011 at 01:47 PM
On The Run - Especially Wallis Oil is a very respectful organization. In my opinion Kirkwood does not have a Convenience store on this side of town that is adequate. I welcome a larger store - easier to enter and exit. I have a hard time believing the average speed of a car on Manchester Road is 50 MPH. If that is the case the Kirkwood Police are failing to keep the speed down. On The Run stores have nice looking stores - go down Manchester Road and look at that metal building - with a racing carnival look of Huck's? That store looks like it doesn't belong and I believe they tore a house down to build it. I am sure all concerns can be answered and changes can be made to accomodate everyone's concerns.
Ron G. August 31, 2011 at 03:16 PM
There's a new convience store just a mile south down geyer! Not to mention A new Dierbergs going a mile down manchester, and, the 24 hr Shop n Save the other direction! There are no sidewalks on Simmons from Manchester to Wilson. We have a liquor store on the corner already, we don't need 24 hour liquor sales and additional cars driving up and down residential neighborhoods to avoid manchester congestion, where our children are walking. Why not consider NO entry nor deliveries via Simmons, as well as speed bumps on Simmons, and perhaps the residents might be more sympathetic to this uneeded encroachment...
Linda Austin August 31, 2011 at 05:19 PM
This does sound big, but if it goes through, it would be great to get rid of that entrance on Manchester so close to the Geyer intersection. That one is dangerous. Maybe they could make a lane for the bus to stop - and make a covered bus stop. No way should there be an entrance on Simmons. I do see this as making a more attractive place for the middle school kids to stop at for a drink or snack on the walk home from school. The crossing guard will be busier. The big thing is to avoid that monstrous, brightly lit commercial look. No way in Kirkwood!
Patty August 31, 2011 at 06:52 PM
I like the 'No entrance at all on Simmons' - that to me, and I think, most, of us is the big sticking point. Keep Manchester traffic on Manchester!
Betsy August 31, 2011 at 08:41 PM
last evening, the Wallis people thought that Huck's looked great! A Mobil on the Run the size that they are trying to build is a better fit for a highway exit, not on smaller streets like we have in Kirkwood.
Vic September 01, 2011 at 07:41 PM
"What a misleading presentation. And the Big Oil presenter felt the best way to present was to sit on the "Hallowed ground" and present the "proposals." What body language. I used to own a dog that when feeling defeated would lie down and roll over. Now if we can get them to play dead! Hmmmmm!? Nevertheless, the Lights, access to and from, fake landscaping, a puny 6 month escrow on planting. a dumpster adjacent Simmons, 24hrs a day operations, and the nerve in the light of the failure of the Shop n Save defeat the Owners say its not a new station, but ONLY an expansion. Do they think we are stupid!!?? Come now. Lets see how this whole thing turns out. We Kirkwood residents, on Simmons alone, from Manchester only down to Wilson, in ten (10) years pay approx. $ 500,00 for taxes to K'wood. Lets speak up and say "Keep Mobil and the present shoppes and businesses where they are." Mr. Mobil, go back to raising your prices somewhere else.........make noise somewhere else........and disturb another neighborhood........SOMEWHERE ELSE! Thanks for nothing. Lets get MOBIL to turn mobile and get outta here. Thank you."
Vic September 01, 2011 at 10:07 PM
John, Get your head out of the sand or Big Oil as it sounds. And no, the present Kirkwood Board would never approve the Carnival look at such a major intersection as Manchester and Geyer, please. Also.........convenience store needs. In the car it is only seconds to Shop n Save, Schnucks or soon even Dierbergs. Also John LeFort who sounds like, works for Mobil, needs to take his travels up and down Manchester for a taste of speed reality. ....and just a reminder, Wallis is a very respectful organization. I am not in disagreement with that..........just a poor selection of location, disruption of existing tax paying tenants, blindness of design, and an insensitivity to the history, neighborhood pride and love of the community we call KIRKWOOD. Thanks John LeFart.
Ron G. September 02, 2011 at 12:20 AM
Mr. Lefort, being a Des Peres resident, can't you can look west towards your local 7-11, or Schnucks to find a convenience store in YOUR community? Or if you are trying to expand your pizza product this way; we already have the PI guy and Pasta Pronto on Manchester...
Ron G. September 04, 2011 at 01:48 AM
Just think when traffic backs up going north on geyer at rush hour, cars will then turn right to drive down the new ALLEY created behind this thing; pass the grease pit, then turn at the dumpster left onto Simmons... thereby bypassing the Geyer light, to get to manchester via Simmons! Can't wait...
John LeFort May 16, 2013 at 05:34 PM
Ron G. - My community is actually Kirkwood although I reside in Des Peres. My mom and dad graduated from Kirkwood. My Great Grandfather Henry Knierim was the 4th or 5th mayor of Kirkwood - one of the two. I see your point about Pizza and it was not my decision to sell pizza at this location. When I look at pizza I see Imos, Pizza Hut, Daily Bread, Dierbergs, Schnucks in Des Peres that all sell pizza. Probably a few other restaurants that I don't know of. I have bought pizza from all of these restaurants including the Old Two Nice Guys that used to be there. You seem to be frustrated with this store. I can certainly understand why because of the change, but I do think it is a good looking store. No grease traps in the back - for a convenience store it is just tasteful. At least in my opinion. I am not a hard core capitalist, but do believe that if someone has the money to invest and buy property - then an improvement is always good. Take care and be positive - it just makes life easier.

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