LIEN YEUNG (CBC NEWS) The lure of cashing in on pricey real estate has fuelled Chevron's latest decision to sell another five of its gas stations in Vancouver.
On Thursday, a spokesperson confirmed the closures of five more locations, all on the west side of the city.
"The economics of the land value really is what's driving the decision to divest," said Adrien Byrne who oversees public affairs at the gas company.
By tomorrow, he says drivers pulling up to the pumps at Cambie and West 16th and Oak and West 41st should expect to see closed signs.
Within the next four to six weeks, Byrne says the other three will be shut down in anticipation of their sale:
One of them was located downtown on West Georgia Street. B.C. Assessment pegged its land value at $32.8 million.
Byrne says the deal was "widely reported at $72 million" and to make the same amount in profit would have taken "decades" even though it was a high traffic site.
"There was the potential to develop a 350-foot tower on that location versus a one-storey gas station," he explained.
As of May, the city's last remaining gas station in downtown Vancouver, an Esso at Burrard and Davie streets was also put up for sale.
For Chevron, it's an issue unique to Vancouver at the moment, says Byrne, as the company has no plans to sell any of its locations outside the city.
What the company would consider, though, are alternatives to large gas stations, such as kiosks, but he says the city limits what it can do.
A spokesperson for the City of Vancouver says residents still have access to many gas stations, and it is not considering zoning changes at this time.
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