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Browning on Business: Columbus gas stations closing doors


The Kwik-N-Go in the 1400 block of Main Street is pictured.

The Kwik-N-Go in the 1400 block of Main Street is pictured.
Photo by: Carol Boone/Dispatch Staff


William Browning

William Browning



William Browning



Some gas station items to begin. 


The Kwik-N-Go next to Church's Chicken in the 1400 block of Main Street, as you may have noticed, has closed. That gas station was owned by Sanders Oil Company until the longtime Columbus business sold to Vernon, Ala.-based Midstates Petroleum Company in September. 


The station closed roughly two weeks ago but the oil company hopes it is open again soon. A search for a new tenant is underway. 


Meanwhile, the convenience store known as Pride Pantry at 1500 Hwy. 45 N. has also locked its doors. Whether it is permanent, however, is not clear.  


The business was sent two notices of violation from the city of Columbus last month concerning the condition of the structure. The city's concern: the condition of the canopy covering the gas station's pumps. Several pieces of metal on it have come loose, said Kenny Wiegel, director of the city's building department. 


Wiegel said the notices were sent after the city had received several complaints regarding the canopy.  


Wiegel said the city's intention in sending the notices -- which state that the structure is "in violation of the International Property Maintenance Code-108.1.1 (Unsafe Structures)" -- was to get the canopy repaired for safety reasons. 


Eddie Byars, who owns the longtime business in front of Leigh Mall, could not be reached for comment. Byars has taped off the gas station's fuel pumps, however, and locked the doors. He also taped, beside a copy of the city's notice, this message to the front door: "Displayed nearby is a notice of violation from the city of Columbus. We are unaware of any danger or condition that may exist to warrant this action, and the notice does not state. However, with the safety of our customers and employees foremost in mind, we are forced to restrict both access and all ancilliary services. Restrictions will remain in place until our fuel inventory is exhausted or further clarification on this notice of violation." 


In other news, Wiegel confirmed the city has issued demolition and reconstructuring permits for the businesses planning to move into the old University Mall location on Hwy. 45 North. 


The two retailers that will occupy the 50,000-square-foot space beside Belk are DICK's Sporting Goods and Michaels, Wiegel said. They are both expected to open in late 2014. With building permits having been issued, construction at the site is expected to begin "any day now," Wiegel said,  


Michaels is an arts and crafts specialty retailer that began in 1973 in Dallas, Texas. There are 1,105 of the stores in North America today. Currently, the closest one to Columbus is in Tuscaloosa, Ala. 


DICK's Sporting Goods, a full-line sporting goods retailer offering brand name goods, was founded in 1948 by Dick Stack in Binghamton, N.Y. His son, Ed Stack, is the current CEO of DICK'S Sporting Goods. There are more than 525 of the stores in the U.S. today, with the closest one to Columbus being in Tupelo. 



William Browning was managing editor for The Dispatch until June 2016.



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