Construction on airport Shell station underway

Despite square footage hang up, owner Lou Paciello wants ‘to be pumping gas by June.’

One of the fiberglass gas tanks put into place at the Shell station being built at Airport Business Park. — Gabrielle Mannino

Construction of a Shell station at the Martha’s Vineyard Airport Business Park is underway. One of three fiberglass fuel tanks was lowered by a crane into a deep hole Thursday afternoon. Onsite to observe the work, Depot Corner owner Lou Paciello told The Times that while pleased with the progress of the construction, he was unenthused by an unanticipated loss of floor space to a planned convenience store inside the station. Looking out to a newly poured foundation, Paciello said, “I’m going to have two-thirds of a building I can’t use.”

The convenience store portion of the project has run afoul of an Edgartown zoning bylaw prohibiting retail sales area from exceeding 10 percent of the overall floor area, a law that further stipulates that the retail area can’t exceed 500 square feet.

Approved by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission on Jan. 25, the Edgartown planning board took issue with the project a little over a month later.

In a March 6 memo to building inspector Lenny Jason, planning board chairman James Cisek wrote, “The application calls for a convenience store ‘proposed to be 2275 square feet.’”

Cisek cited the bylaw prohibiting a store of that size, and asked Jason to request a modified proposal from the applicant.

From his office in Edgartown Town Hall, Jason told The Times Paciello will be required to reduce the floor space of his convenience store to the legal limit and designate the remaining floor space as storage. Barring that, he must seek a special permit from the planning board, he said.

Paciello said he doesn’t intend to move forward with a special permit application at this time.

“We thought we asked all the right questions, but apparently we didn’t,” he said.


  1. I’m very disappointed that the Airport Commissioners didn’t require an oil change facility? Something that doesn’t exist on the island. So the previous tenant, who did provide an oil change facility plus a car wash lost to someone who bid more but provides less services? Sounds like the Airport Commissioners were doing their job…NOT!
    Now with all the caveats for the types of businesses that are allowed at the airport why couldn’t this be done?

  2. You can’t be serious. Its not up to the airport commission to mandate a ‘business model’ for a gas station tenant. Call any mechanic to get an oil change done. Its not rocket science. Or better yet, maybe some entrepreneurial type will open an oil change facility….or even create a ‘come to your place’ business/truck operation to change the oil on site. That would be creative and nobody would have to pay rent. The previous tenant, who paid a LOT LESS in rent ‘lost’ because he wasn’t willing to pay a market rate rent. Then cries foul, goes to court to try and get a ‘do-over’ , LOSES, then after not being able to get paid a ransom for outdated equipment pulls a ‘scorched earth’ game by knocking down the building and pulling the tanks out of the ground. Give it up.

    • It would of been forwarded thinking to add oil change to the requirements of the lease. If that was asked for in the original bid than this was not a level bid process.
      Requirements are added all the time to leases.
      On the monopoly comment, him owning three station might drop the price. I would rather have 1 million extra dimes than 100 thousand quarters.
      That low price would stay until you can drive the competition out than it might go lower…or not.

        • Forward for only a short distance in the electric car, perfect for a small island for when you don’t want to get away…

          • Yes perfect for the island–and day trips– you can certainly get to Boston and back , and when you do want to get away, the $35000 model 3 Tesla does pretty good also. It has a range of about 300 miles on a full charge. That’s about a 6 hour drive under normal conditions on the I 95 corridor. If you stop for lunch and plug in to a regular charging station,you can reach Philli from here.
            If you are going further, your phone can tell you where Tesla has high powered chargers.
            “Tesla Supercharging stations charge with up to 145 kW of power distributed between two adjacent cars, with a maximum of 120 kW per car. That is up to 16 times as fast as public charging stations; they take about 20 minutes to charge to 50%, 40 minutes to charge to 80%, and 75 minutes to 100%.”

            So a one hour 15 minute break for a walk and lunch can get you 600 miles.. Then you sleep and hit the road the next day.

            After those distances, you are probably better off flying.
            And that’s at current technologies– forward thinking cuts those charge times down, and the ranges up.

    • You need to do a little research rather then just spouting this nonsense anonymously.
      You say scorched earth, but he followed every letter of the law. Other tenants already in place were offered the opportunity to adjust their bids in the past, why not Mr. Rotundo?
      What about the water rates going crazy at the airport? Is no one paying attention???
      Wake up before something like this happened to you!!!

      • Thanks for the laugh CHIVERS, you post anonymous and whine about others. You need to do your research. But since you chose to ‘spout’ your nonsense:
        He was a squatter after lease termination. Not quite ‘letter of the law’. (If I was Paciello the squatter would be sued for lost profits for the months he stayed past the lease, thus depriving the winner bidder of profit)
        He had every right to demolish his improvements and inconvenience people for a year who simply want to purchase gasoline. He sure ‘showed them’! NOT!
        Adjusting bids AFTER a public bidding process? What kind of fool would waste time making some charade bid if the former tenant would be then given the opportunity to ‘meet or beat it’. Suggest you read the law.
        I’m not an airport tenant so water rates don’t affect me. Isn’t the water supplied by OB? And aren’t water rates reflective of the cost to operate a wastewater plant? Which is government by state/federal mandates, all of which should be passed on to ALL users.
        The teachable moment here: if you sign a lease have a COMPETENT attorney represent you.

  3. notnewhere, you must have not like the previous owner
    Think about this….why didn’t the AC off the previous owner the opportunity to match the winning bid??? Is it because they personally didn’t like him?? It would have been nice for him to retain his livlihood instead they let someone who already owns several gas stations on the island, open another one. The new airport gas station owner now has a monoply on the gas stations in Edgartown. Can we say price gouge?
    I would have removed everything as well, the previous owner did it at his own personal expense so what’s your complaint? (the old tanks had to come out anyways)
    A quick oil change would have been nice, it would have been another stream of revenue but you can just go to a mechanic shop and there are already mobile mechanics on the island.

    • @islanddogs2. I have no like or dislike for the previous owner and do not know him. I read in the paper the nonsense he put forth when he lost the bid and caused the new owner the unnecessary delay. A bid is just that. Either win or lose. He had the opportunity to make a bid, which he did, and it was apparently not sufficient. It was his right to remove the old equipment, but if as you say ‘the old tanks had to come out anyways’ why on earth would Paciello pay him ANYTHING for them if they were at the end of their useful life? Its up to the new owner if he thinks his business model would support a quick oil change business and from what I read apparently he does not think so. If the old oil change building didn’t get knocked down, perhaps it would have been a viable option. Oh well. Let the oil change business go to the others already doing it. PS. If you read leases at airports generally the person leasing the land has a right to use the property for a period of time, after which the ‘improvements’ either get removed, or revert to airport ownership. If he didn’t get what he deemed to be a fair offer for his ‘improvements’ he was well within his rights to demolish the station, thus inconveniencing people who want to buy gas.

  4. islanddogs2. What is the point of having a bidding system if the original owner has the right of last refusal.

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