Crest-Foothill gas station will reopen

After two years of sore eyes and empty tanks, the 76 gas station on the corner of Angeles Crest Highway and Foothill Boulevard is on the path to reopening at the start of next year.

The station sat unused after the previous owner’s lease from Conoco-Phillips expired in 2009, and was finally acquired in June 2010 in a group purchase of Conoco-Phillips stations by Platinum Energy, based out of Agoura Hills.

Platinum Energy, 76’s largest fuel distributor on the West Coast, owns and directly operates several stations in Southern California, a model that will be implemented in La Cañada as well, said Brian Whalen, general manager of Platinum Energy.

According to Whalen, the current construction took some time to get off the ground because Platinum Energy wanted to work closely with the city.

This cooperation was intended to make sure Platinum Energy built a station that would fit in, design-wise, with the direction being taken by the other businesses along Foothill Boulevard.

“We really got together with the city, the city planners and said, what can we do to make this site fit in better with all the great work the city’s done…basically remodeling that whole section of town,” said Whalen.

Whalen said the plans for the station include converting the service bays into a convenience store, replacing incandescent lights with energy efficient LEDs and installing brand-new pumps.

In addition, the station will be remodeled, with a wood beam treatment similar to the businesses across the street at the Town Center. There will also be a fountain and new landscaping.

Robert Stanley, of the city’s planning department, said that city officials are happy to see the corner revived.

“That’s kind of a gateway to our Downtown Village Specific Plan [area], so it’ll be nice to have that building completed and improved,” said Stanley.

One other benefit to the city is that Platinum Energy donated some of its property so that the corner can be reworked for traffic reasons, Stanley said.

The “nose” of the corner, which sticks out into the intersection of Angeles Crest Highway and Foothill Boulevard, will be shaved down so that turning right from ACH onto Foothill isn’t such a sharp angle. Stanley said the city is also considering installing a double right-hand turn lane on that corner.

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