Nearly finished Marathon gas station sits empty 2 years later; owner works with ODOT

State officials say they are waiting on approved design plans from developer

BETHEL TWP., Clark County — Construction on a Marathon gas station near the border of Miami and Clark counties remains at a standstill nearly two years after the $1 million project was first estimated to be completed.

Located at the intersection of U.S. 40 and Ohio 235 — in Bethel Twp. south of New Carlisle — the facility’s exterior appears nearly finished, with brick and vinyl siding affixed and all windows, gutters, and lighting in place. Gas pump canopies have been installed, along with a Marathon logo sign, though the pumps themselves have yet to be stationed.

ExploreODOT permit process holding up Clark County Marathon opening, owner says

Owner Amarjit Takhar said in December 2021 that construction had been halted nearly a year prior because the builder failed to apply for an Ohio Department of Transportation permit related to altering or creating an entrance zone and turning lane that connects to State Route 235, an ODOT-maintained road. It was Takhar’s belief at the time that construction would resume shortly and the station would open in April 2022.

But seven months after this estimated opening date, construction has yet to resume, leaving residents curious as to what’s stalling the project. Takhar, of Pap Oil Co. LLC, which owns more than 20 gas stations in the Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus areas, said on Wednesday that he is still working with ODOT to finalize entrance and turning lane plans related to the permit.

An ODOT official said on Thursday the agency is currently “waiting on an approved set of design plans from the developer.”

Pap Oil Co. LLC purchased the property, located at 12040 W. National Road, for $285,000 in February of 2020, according to a copy of the property transfer on the Clark County Auditor’s website. Takhar said construction began that summer.

Alex Dietz, economic development specialist for Clark County, said that Pap Oil Co. LLC had received all of the required county building and zoning permits up to this point, but that additional certificates will be necessary to be fully operational.

“Before (Takhar) can be granted his certificate of occupancy for the commercial structure, there are some things he will need to complete, (including) electrical and gas line permitting items,” Dietz said. “He has not contacted our department regarding those things since the last (on-site) inspection, which was over a year ago.”

Building projects typically require inspections to be completed at each stage of construction in order for required permits to be granted, Dietz said, meaning an inspection will have to take place in order for gas and electrical work to continue at the Bethel Twp. site. As of Tuesday, no such inspections have been requested or applied for by Pap Oil Co. LLC.

Dietz said county officials are aware that Takhar had been working with ODOT to resolve the permitting issues, but are puzzled as to what is causing the ongoing delay. Dietz said he has made several recent attempts to contact Takhar by phone, all of which have been unsuccessful.

“Ultimately, we just want to help him if there’s an issue he’s facing,” Dietz said.

Takhar said this week that he could not provide an updated timeline or estimate for completion of the project.

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Vacant properties

This story is part of the Dayton Daily News’ ongoing effort to update readers about the status of long-vacant properties or stalled developments in their communities.

About the Author