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Gas Station Slated at Clinton Keith, I-215

An ARCO ampm gas station and convenience store slated for The Orchard shopping center should be in service by July.

A gas station long in the works for The Orchard shopping center got the city's OK last week to sell beer and wine, paving the way for a summer opening.

The ARCO ampm gas station and mini-mart will house 12 pumps at 27698 Clinton Keith Road, on the northwest corner of Clinton Keith Road and Interstate 215 between Juice It Up! and Bank of America.

Mark Kooklani, president of C.S.K. Petroleum, said he expects to gain the rest of the necessary permits within 45 days. Following that, construction should take four and a half months, he said.

"It should be finished around six months from now," Kooklani told Patch in a phone interview Monday.

Kooklani said he plans to adhere to provisions laid out under the city of Murrieta's revised alcoholic beverage code. Those stipulations include alcohol sales between 6 a.m. and midnight only, in-depth training for clerks, and no alcohol advertising on fuel islands or on the store's exterior. Single beers or wine-coolers can also not be sold, and there are surveillance video guidelines to adhere to.

"We train—that is our No. 1 goal when we open," said Kooklani, who operates several stores in San Diego County. "Anybody that looks under 40 gets carded for alcohol and cigarettes."

The store will be located across the freeway overpass from , but under the city's there is a 600-foot distance requirement from schools instead of the previous 500 feet.

The station will be located within 1,000 feet of some residences, which was a past sticking point for the developer of The Orchard, Allan Davis.

"I have been working since 2005 to get a fuel station here," Davis said. "I have been working with Mark (Kooklani) for about a year and a half."

Under the revised code, there is no distance requirement from homes, but the station owner had to go through a minor conditional use permit process to gain approval.

"The people here are just craving it," Davis said."I get people who stop in to my office onsite at least once a week, asking when it is coming."

A shop operator in the center agreed.

"We are very glad," said Anna Bui, manager of Orchard Nail Spa. "A lot of customers come in here and request it. There is nothing here at this exit."

Bui, who commutes from Riverside, said she also looks forward to not having to drive one exit down to Los Alamos Road to fill up her car with gas.

Even more relieved that the project was moving forward was store architect Gregory Hann, of Murrieta-based Empire Design, Inc.

"The convenience store business is off by 20-30 percent in the state," Hann said. "This is the first ground-up being built in the valley in five years. After a five-year hiatus, Murrieta needs this."

Hann is an ARCO-approved architect and said he has designed 60 gas stations mostly in southwest Riverside County. His latest was the ARCO ampm at Scott and Antelope roads, which opened in 2009.

Making The Orchard project difficult was the limited lot size of .67 acres—29,000 square feet—he said.

"Nowadays they have to have almost an acre to make it work," Hann said. "It took six months to get this approved by the [Murrieta] Planning Department because it was so tight."

He thanked Pat Thomas, public works director, for signing off on a driveway off the shopping center's Clinton Keith entrance. ARCO would not have approved the project otherwise, he said.

"The station almost died because of size constraints and ingress/egress for the tanker truck," Hann said.

The project will mirror the aesthetics of the adjoining shopping center, which Hann said is unique to The Orchard and required Kooklani to agree to spend a little more.

"I admire people that take a little risk," he said, of both Davis and Kooklani.

That risk will likely pay off due to what locals termed a void in the vicinity.

Local resident Nick Foster, 18, who lives almost directly across Clinton Keith Road in Murrieta Oaks East, was excited to hear confirmation of the news.

"That should definitely help a lot of people," Foster said. "I know that is a big issue around here."

LBV Collins January 31, 2012 at 03:21 PM
FINALLY!! It will be wonderful to have a gas station close by.
Norman Preiss January 31, 2012 at 04:27 PM
YES!!! Finally, the neighborhoods along Clinton Keith will have a local am/pm, and no longer have to fight the traffic by driving across town to fill their fuel tanks. Even better, the city is not using this land for a rock quarry or self-storage facility...!
Rob January 31, 2012 at 04:34 PM
^^^^^^^^ what the people above me said. :)
Isela Gomez January 31, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Although I prefer Chevron, it is nice to see a gas station closer to home.
Chole' Tiscornia January 31, 2012 at 07:18 PM
So not okay with this project. Convenience and revenue seem to be more important than environmental and public safety. Too close to high-end homes and children. I've never seen property values and quality of neighborhoods increase because gas stations and fast-food restaurants spring up.
Jessica January 31, 2012 at 11:07 PM
As a real estate broker and specialist in this area, I am very excited about this groundbreaking project! We need something like this to boost our local economy and attract more residents to this beautiful area. Such progressions such as this site will make our neighborhood more established and commuter friendly. Can't wait!!
M February 01, 2012 at 04:24 AM
Unfortunately this will bring more crime to the area. I can promise that there will be additional unwanted visitors to our community. Also, we can expect there to be bank robberies at B of A. There is nothing good about a gas station this close to our homes. I would rather drive 10 miles to get fuel. Though the section 8 housing was not built as planned. A gas station will still attract the wrong type of people. We all need to be more careful about what is going on around us at all times. Get an alarm, dog or gun. Maybe a combination of including all 3 suggestions.
M February 01, 2012 at 04:29 AM
How does a gas station attract more residents. I have never looked at buying property because there is a gas station nearby, where do u get your facts or are they just opinions. Just look at the gas stations around town, a picture is worth a thousand words!
Chris February 01, 2012 at 03:39 PM
And I've never seen property values decline because a gas station and fast food spring up. I would submit that the BEST place for a gas station is right beside the freeway. The WORST place to live when it comes to crime is right beside a freeway. Perhaps you should move away from the freeway (I do realize that may be inconvenient).
Chris February 01, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Ugh. Excited for a gas station here, but not that it's Arco. I hate Arco.
Chris February 01, 2012 at 03:43 PM
How is a gas station going to cause bank robberies at B of A? B of A is already there and it's already in a high risk location, right next to the freeway. A gas station has nothing to do with the likelihood of a bank robbery.
LBV Collins February 01, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Hi M. I get gas from the stations on Los Alamos near the I-215—the Mobil station across from Stater Bros. and the Shell station next to In-N-Out. (Mmmm… In-N-Out burgers…) Those areas look very nice—clean and safe—and are surrounded by residential neighborhoods. I don’t see any signs of urban blight, nor criminals running amok. I live off of Clinton-Keith near the I-215. I’m not worried about an increase in crime in my neighborhood and I’m very happy that we’re getting a gas station close by. I also agree with Jessica. I think most people do look for local conveniences like fast foods restaurants, grocery stores, and gas stations. I know I did when I bought my home in this area. One of the attractions for me was The Orchard shopping center, with its Starbucks, Subway, Dixieline, and B of A… as well as its promise of Walgreens and Target (both are now open). The new stores opening up (Del Taco and Goodyear, and now the Arco station) make it just that much more convenient to live in the area. I like the new businesses in the area and I think they will enhance, not worsen, our neighborhoods’ desirability.
Zygo February 01, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Sounds like you need to do more on-line banking and begin telecommuting. Crime happens everywhere. Yes, the wrong type of people will get off the freeway to buy gas, but they will also get back on the freeway after they buy it. You need to continue to continue to drive the 10 miles to buy your gas to stay away from those those wrong type of people.
freddieann March 17, 2012 at 09:39 PM
I do not like using DEBIT cards for my gas. I'm not happy with an Arco at this location because they only take cash or debit. We already have an Arco at Scott and Antelope.
Paul Byrd August 12, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Is this even happening????? Its summer and theres been nothing going on in that spot!!!
Dan C. October 04, 2012 at 06:21 PM
I saw some construction on this site and I really hope it is the long awaited gas station!
Legion November 20, 2012 at 08:27 PM
The good news...Finally, a gas station! The bad news...More people will continue to make illegal U-turns on Loganberry, causing them to do a 3 point turn or drive through North Oaks to turn around. This is due to the poor design of the Orchard traffic exit system. People don’t notice the sings posted where to exit for Clinton Keith.

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