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Condos is condos, says Stan?

Hatoff's Gas on Washington Street in Jamaica Plain

The Boston Bulletin reports a developer is looking at tearing down the venerable Hatoff's gas station and the neighboring Acme Auto Body at 3430 Washington St. in Jamaica Plain to put up a residential building with ground-floor retail space.

Hatoff's and its hat-doffing homunculus have been a familiar sight for motorists for decades. Morris Hatoff opened a gas station near the old Forest Hills elevated stop in 1929. In 1980, his son Stan, who declared that "gas is gas," moved the station up Washington Street when the state took over the Forest Hills land by eminent domain.

1941 Hatoff's ad featuring the little man with the big head doffing his hat (source):

Hatoff's offering tire replacement in 1941
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Comments

DON'T LET WHAT HAPPENED TO DOYLE'S HAPPEN HERE! Big unsecured hole in the ground for few years now. "Gas is gas", says Stan!

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Not a few months? And the condos are actually going in behind Doyle's, if not yet in the hole where the house used to be.

But, yeah, currently the Filene's Hole of Jamaica Plain.

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…is no longer a hole. It’s now a 4-floor wood framed building.

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Ah, I was thinking of the hole on Washington Street, which was very much there when I walked by it this afternoon.

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Wrong. Doyle's was bought over a year ago, and the hole is still there.

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The hole behind doyles has a 4 story framed residential structure, hole across the street has a foundation for the next residential building. From what I hear then the hole to the left of Doyles will start construction for the building that will hold the market on the first floor then more residential above it hopefully along with the restaurant build out. So, it is moving along, heard there were holdups with the city getting things moving, nothing happens fast at 1010 mass ave...

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I think Doyle's has been vacant for more than a few months. Commercial space at Velo has been empty since the place was built five years ago. Let's fix the reason.

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joke trying to open a business or build something in this city, takes FOREVER.... It's like they don't want businesses to open, at least restaurants/bars FFS....

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... is that we don't have land value taxes. Ideally, vacancies should be heavily financially disincentivized, but that's not how it currently works out. 7/11 on Centre still vacant. Commercial space at the place that replaced the James gate has been functionally empty aside from a questionable brief-lived furniture showroom that seem to be trying not to sell anything. Nobody needs another bank branch or nail salon or real estate office.

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Pretty sure vacancies are already heavily financially disincentivized. It doesn’t pay to keep a place empty.

With a few exceptions, most of the time it’s not up to the landlord whether or not a place gets filled. I’m not pretending to have a solution to how to create more small businesses who want to fill those vacant spaces, but more housing (and more nearby costumers) seems like a good place to start.

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I do not for one short second buy the idea that the issue is a lack of small businesses and not the price. Besides, ever consider the idea that lower rents would support business models that don't work in an environment with jacked up rents? I think you have your causality backward.

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What do you think happens when a landlord can’t fill a space? I’ll spoil the answer. Rents come down. Either here the market hasn’t had time to work, the product is not in demand, or vacancies outweigh the number of businesses looking to open locations. I’m personally guessing it’s a lack of businesses since it makes the most sense here, but I’m no economist.

Either way, blindly blaming it on “greedy developers” just plays into the hands of NIMBYs who are, in my opinion, often one of the true culprits of our city planning woes.

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You obviously don't understand how property valuations work in the modern world. It isn't ECON 101. It's sadly much more based on rents a property could theoretically earn than it ought to be. Last thing landlords want to do is lower rent, which is why hot spaces in highly walkable zones sit vacant for years on end.

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Are you even listening to the argument you've made? There is absolutely no incentive for a property owner to not rent commercial space out at a price that attracts tenants. Certainly they might like to collect more than market rate, but they'll take that over collecting nothing at all.

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There is absolutely no incentive for a property owner to not rent commercial space out at a price that attracts tenants.

Of course there is. Accepting a lower-than-market rent means that the paper value of all their property goes down. Why do you think there have been so many empty storefronts around Harvard Square since the 2008 recession? Because nobody wants to rent commercial property in that neighborhood?

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How about the Filene's Hole of Chestnut Hill at 1180 Boylston (xroad Hammond St). It hasn't even been a gas station for over a decade, but ever since someone finally decided to do something with the lot it's been a giant hole for over 2 years.

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Last I heard there were some environmental holdups that came up a few months (years?) back. Seems like it was resolved so there should be some forward motion soon, but tbd.

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and I adore the "Teele Square Community Pool" signs that have periodically been stuck to the fence. It's basically a historic landmark at this point.

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That hole was filled earlier this year. The fence is still up and there's no sign of construction, but the hole is no longer a hole--just a wasteland.

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But thank you for bringing me up to date.

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Your young little holes are cute.

This one is now filled in and parked on, but it still isn't being built on again while the lawyers, city, and DEP sort it all out. There was a dry cleaner here and they were pretty casual about solvent leaks, storage, and disposal for many decades of the mid 20th century.

I believe there were also environmental issues from businesses going back to the shipbuilding days - the core of the building dated to the 1850s or before.

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NOOOOOO! yet another piece of JP vanishes. we love stan's... it is the best place to get cheap gas, and is relied on by a lot of people in the neighborhood. i know we need housing around here, but i'm not thrilled about another big box with empty retail in the bottom :(

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Counterpoint: gas stations pollute the air and ground and Stans in particular makes the block very dangerous for pedestrians. Good riddance.

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Just to annoy you.

Fill her up baby! Some rich brat doesn't like what I'm doing.

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Stan don't take credit cards- that's one reason why the prices are so low.

You have to wonder what Kinopio thinks the vehicles used to deliver the goods he consumes are powered by. Better believe the delivery folk stop at Hatoffs.

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I pay by credit/debit every time I go..... The sign has cash and credit prices on it....

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In that case, Hatoff's has long gone as an institution in my eyes.

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I pay credit/debit every time I go, they are not cash only....

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Found the oil oligarchy talking point.

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…. to a sad little road rage powered life organized around fantasies of spending time and money to spite an internet nemesis who never wastes a keyboard stroke responding to you.

Unrequited love must be terribly painful but it’s you who put Kinopio and others on pedestals and you who can let go.

Someday there will be a statue erected to you, John Boy and other impotent burn outs as a warning to future generations of what car culture did to past generations. I foresee it becoming a repository of a combination of faded green carnations, cheap teddy bears and the reek of Guinness fumed urine.

Possibly it will double as something positive like bike parking.

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Deliver your wrinkle cream and the lifts for your shoes to your tiny, lonely apartment.

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Found the sad little lonely man who has to insult others to feel relevant.

Find a new hobby.

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Are you going to walk away from people asking you questions at the Holy Name Rotary again?

Some of us aren't as wallflowery as you with the passive aggressive Anon posts.

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So we are all gaffin. Even you, shadow boxer.

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No brain chips, no 5g, no chemtrails ... just pure stubborn reactionary behavior.

For example:

PseudoKinopio: I hate litterboxes - I only use toilets!
PseudoJohn: I'm only going to use litterboxes just to annoy you!

PseudoKinopio: I hate the taste of lead weights. I won't eat them!
PseudoJohn: I'm going to eat 5 lbs of lead weights just to annoy you!

Contrarians make mind control way too easy!

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I mean, I'd argue that the whole "using Washington St like a drag race strip" and there being relatively few traffic lights and places to cross is more what makes that block dangerous for pedestrians (believe me, I also walk in the area!) Those 2000 cars the developer cites aren't going to stop needing to get gas just because Stan's goes away; they'll just have to drive farther to get it. I don't like being car-dependent, but I am, because my commute to work on the T is an unreliable hour and a half to two hours one way and includes two miles of walking vs a 20 minute drive. Many other ppl in the western parts of JP and Dorchester are in the same situation. Until we invest in the T-- not just catch-up maintenance, but actual expansion-- gas stations will continue to exist.

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but i'm not thrilled about another big box with empty retail in the bottom

"I want housing, but not if it looks like x or is located in y."

— every NIMBY, basically.

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"Caliga said she worried about increased traffic she said a housing project would create."

Increased traffic.

It's a gas station.

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I don't which is a bigger gold mine of JP... Hatoff's or Stanley Towing. But wait. Galway House is full house and lines at door also. Swarms of humans for decades to this today will always need Galway House's secret to longevity. Those 3 are JP icons of success.

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is that the Galway is really the only family restaurant in JP (and also why my spouse and I avoid it).

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Galway House is great even for those of us without kids.

Wouldn't mind if they followed Costello's lead and built 3 stories of housing on top of it, though.

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The developer’s reply is good too: “Hassell said a lot of the traffic is generated by Hatoffs. ‘They get 2,000 cars a day,’ he said.”

Prior: "What kind of development?" she asked. "So much development is happening. We don't need any more. It's really upsetting to me."

Anyways. NIMBYs gonna nimby. Don’t be a nimby, kids.

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You have one of the most undesirable neighbors (a gas station) and you are complaining about how a change to housing is going to be worse and is upsetting? Please.

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More condos = more customers for her dog business. Crazy just how self-defeating NIMBYism can be sometimes.

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Familiar with Caliga from other community stuff... can confirm: not smart and a little bit crazy.

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Nooooooo

Make gas stations shitty again

OoooWAHAHAHAH

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…. our national currency from privatization by credit card corporations.

Build the housing after whatever toxic product run off will need to be abated.

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I've had to use them a bunch of times and they offer outstanding quality at a reasonable price. Not to mention you can drop your car off and take the T into work.

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They're a great resource for repairs.

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This project has me so excited! Stan's is an eyesore, and the constant traffic in/out of it is a massive hazard to pedestrians, cylists, and drivers alike! Why should we be content with an environmental hazard, traffic hazard, and land-use nightmare in our neighborhood? Lets turn Washington Street into a vibrant, walkable, small-business corridor!

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...also has a bunch of potential. Feels like an area that ought to have a restaurant row, especially being adjacent to the Orange line.

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Evergreen exists, and is pretty darn good

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Agreed, but it would be even better with a liquor license.

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Erm… isn’t this the same type of building that is just down the street at Forest Hills? And is this really going to be affordable housing or should we just put that in quotes?
Peace/out

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That's what I've always wondered. Any chemists or mechanics care to chime in?

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One of the reasons Stan's can be so cheap is because they likely buy cheaper gas to resell. More expensive gas has more detergents and other additives in it that prolong the life of engines. So, while the gas from Stan's will combust the same as any other gas, it's likely that using it will wear out an engine faster.

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There's not exactly a Nutrition Facts on the pump.

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but Top Tier gas does hold fuel suppliers accountable for additives and detergents in gasoline. I would trust the makers of the engines to know what's best for their engines.

We desperately need to move away from fossil fuels, but in the meantime, lets try and reduce waste and emissions where we can.

https://www.toptiergas.com/about-top-tier/#why

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