Two Berkshire County service stations sold, three others await fate


PITTSFIELD — Two Berkshire County service stations were sold at auction on Thursday to owners with ties to New York state.

The stations, located in Pittsfield and Williamstown, were among six properties that Pittsfield-based O'Connell Oil Associates Inc. had listed for sale at an auction at the Crowne Plaza hotel.

Three of the four other properties, service stations in Adams, Dalton and North Adams were not sold. The sale of the other property, located in Wilbraham, was still under negotiation as of Thursday afternoon.

O'Connell plans to put the unsold sites back on the market, according to Senior Vice President Marc Sobon. The Dalton property also contains a three-unit residential property.

Sayed Ali of Hopewell Junction, N.Y., purchased the property at 259 Main St. in Williamstown for $275,000. A man from New York, who declined to give his name, and his business partner acquired the property at 275 Elm St. in Pittsfield for $50,000. Both sales were contingent on the new owners agreeing to pay a 6 percent "buyer's premium" fee in addition to the agreed upon sales price.

Ali said he purchased the Williamstown property, which also has a drive-thru, because he owns other gas stations in New York. The man who purchased the Pittsfield property declined to comment on his plans for the site except to say that he will put "new tanks in."

Under the terms of the auction, the new owners are required to close on the properties within 45 days of the sale date. Twenty people attended the auction, but only a handful participated in the bidding. Some properties received no offers. O'Connell had owned some of the properties as far back as the mid-1980s, according to the auction documents.

A high bid was submitted on the residential property in Dalton, which is located at 21-25 Daly Ave. But the sale fell through because the service station and residence were required to be sold as a package. The service station, located at 625 Main St., slightly abuts the residential parcel.

O'Connell recently conveyed 22 other Western Massachusetts sites that it owned in the Pittsfield and Springfield markets to Waltham-based Global Partners LP via long-term leases.

These six properties, which were not part of that package, were put up for auction because O'Connell has decided to get out of the gas station business altogether, Sobon said.

Prior to the Global Partners deal, which closed earlier this month, O'Connell Oil Associates operated 29 Convenience Plus stores, seven gas stations, a wholesale gasoline business, and full-service commercial and residential plumbing, hearing and air condition departments, according to the company's website.

"The timing was right," Sobon said. "With Cumberland Farms, Alliance Energy, Big Y and Stop & Shop coming in (to the local gas station market), it was getting harder and harder to compete.

"We're going out of the gas business, but we're staying in the oil business," he said.

Tony Dobrowolski can be reached at 413-496-6224.


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