Fill The Spot: 197 Colman Street

Vacant service station was the longest running one in New London

Your ideas for this vacant business on Colman Street might well focus on simply reviving it as it once was. After all, the spot proved quite popular for people who needed to get gas or a tune-up.

The property at 197 Colman Street was billed as the longest running gas station in New London. Salvatore Sylvester and Walter Harrington opened Sylvester's Texaco there in 1952, and 50 years later Sylvester and his son were still manning it. Sylvester died in 2009 at the age of 83. In August of 2010, Salvatore Sylvester Jr. had an application before the Planning and Zoning Commission to transition the business to a retail store with gasoline sales. However, when I started putting together listings for this site a few months later the station was empty.

A sign for the auto repair business Port City Auto remains on the site. The station includes a three-bay garage, two gas pumps, and office space. It is located a few blocks from the more business-oriented section of Colman Street, in the area where the road begins to become more residential.

Would you use a gas station or auto repair business if one opened here? Or would you prefer to see something else? Let us know in the comments.

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Debbie October 28, 2012 at 12:06 PM
That particular section of Colman Street could use a gas station/auto repair shop to better serve residents living and working in that part of New London.
--Robert October 28, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Good spot with a long history of use as an auto repair facility. For a businessman and auto shop owner starting out, a properly zoned building is essential. The majority of state Dealer & Repairer regulations, to allow a dealer's license, look at the physical property and the equipment there. You also need to arrange for things like waste oil pickup and containment that satisfies all codes- fire, environmental, DOT, zoning. Not easy to do these days and that's why you see many small garages that take their business in a different direction, turning into another convenience store. I like the grease-under-the-nails type of shop, but it is also hard to compete with specialty places like Town Fair tire or the oil-change shops. Good luck to whoever moves in here and whatever their plans are.


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