As Illustrated: How to Turn a Gas Station Into a Top Retail Destination

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The Meatpacking District had already seen rapid-fire gentrification when, in 2008, a Mobil station at the entrance to the neighborhood sold for $60 million and buzz circulated that it would go retail. Months after the sale, the High Line park opened and completed the once-gritty district’s transformation. Now, new owners are redeveloping the old gas station for 17,000 square feet of retail use. We talked to experts involved in the property’s lease and redesign–and savvy about the Meatpacking District’s latest and greatest evolution–about what should prove an increasingly common type of conversion.

The station remains open as rumors swirl that the property will soon be cleared to make way for several 1,500-square-foot storefronts.

Toward the end of 2012, the Mobil station fills its last tank, joining the roughly 50,000 gas stations that have closed nationwide since 1991, when 200,000 were in operation. Fewer than 50 gas stations remain in Manhattan.

Mr. Shternlicht sells 461 West 14th Street in 2012 to Michael and Brandon Miller of Real Estate Equities for the same $60 million price.

Developers Alfieri And REEC plan to convert the property into a 17,000-square-foot retail space that will join neighboring tenants including Alexander McQueen, Diane von Furstenberg and Jeffrey. Brokers say the space could house anything from a home furnishings fixture like Design Within Reach to an athletic apparel retailer like Under Armour or Columbia Sportswear.

In late 2008, Milk Studios owner Erez Shternlicht buys a Mobil gas station at 10th Avenue and 14th Street for $60 million. It sits below the abandoned railroad tracks of what would soon reopen as the High Line pedestrian Park.