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Palmetto Shell station to close, this time for sure

PALMETTO — The Palmetto Shell at the foot of the Green Bridge finally will close Sunday.

The gas station and convenience store has become a local institution since opening in 1972, with regular customers making it the place to get their fuel and quick foods.

“There’s been a gas station on this corner since 1928,” said Wes Foust, manager of the business for 10 of the 18 years he has worked for Palmetto Shell.

With its close proximity to the Manatee River and fishing pier, the station also operates a fish bait shop.

Foust said the property, which the Circle K Corp. owns, has been for sale for more than a year.

The business was slated to close at the end of March but the lease was extended until a purchaser could be found.

Because Circle K wants to sell the property, it is not willing to upgrade the underground fuel tanks, which the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection requires before Jan. 1, Foust said.

Regulations require Circle K to install new tanks, even if the owner of the business, Manatee County businessman Christopher Wood, wanted to make the improvements.

Officials in Circle K’s Florida regional office in Temple Terrace did not return calls for comment.

According to an article in the Bradenton Herald on March 19, the property was on the market for $900,000, but no information was available Monday about the current price.

Wood could not be contacted for comment.

Palmetto Shell employes six people, and Foust said most of them have found other jobs.