News

Mini-mart on S. Patrick Street in Old Town up for City Council consideration

A main roadway into Alexandria will likely soon have a new mini-mart. On Saturday, City Council will vote on an addition to the Liberty service station at 700 S. Patrick Street (Route 1), and the owner says that construction could be wrapped by the beginning of the summer.

Per the plan, the 1,136-square-foot service station would be expanded by the addition of a 24-hour mini-mart. The 438-square-foot structure would include two restrooms, and the two existing service bays would be completely removed and remodeled into a retail shop with food and household supplies.

“We’re so excited to get this project started,” owner Hager Cherif-Benkahla told ALXnow. “We’ve owned the gas station for six years, and we’re ready to go with this.”

There has been a service station on the 20,300-square-foot property at the corner of S. patrick and Franklin Streets since at least 1957, according to the city.

The Planning Commission unanimously approved the proposal earlier this month. City staff also backed the plan, provided that the owners replace the entrance apron at the corner of Franklin Street with a curb, gutter and sidewalk.

“This will encourage safer pedestrian movement along the Franklin Street sidewalk, reducing the number of cars using the curb cut, and providing safer pedestrian access to the ice machine and ATM,” a staff report said.

Staff also said there is a potential during construction that historic artifacts could be found on-site, as the property is located near to where African American settlements were established in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. If artifacts are found, then construction must cease and the City’s Archaeology department must be contacted for further study.