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A Mixed-Use First In Atlanta: Office Above A Gas Station

The BP gas station on Spring Street that is slated for a mixed-use renovation.

In what may be a first for Atlanta's mixed-use environment, a popular Midtown gas station could soon see gleaming glass office space built above it.

Local real estate investor Amin Alibhai, who owns a string of gas station/convenience stores throughout Atlanta, has filed permits with the City of Atlanta to expand his BP station and store into a mixed-use project.

The gas station, located off Spring Street across from The Varsity and a block from Bank of America Plaza, will be expanded to more than 8K SF to expand its café and restaurant offerings, including a new, attached Domino's Pizza, Alibhai said.

On top of the expanded convenience store, Alibhai plans to build a second story that will be all office, and will be used exclusively for his company, United Georgia Loans, he said.

“It will be beautiful architecture,” Alibhai said, adding that the second story office will be encased in glass.

Renderings for the proposed mixed-use redo of the popular BP gas station off Spring St.

Alibhai purchased the station in 2016 from another independent investor for more than $13M, according to Databank. While he described the BP station as nominal, for many operators, the real revenue generators tend to be inside sales. And given the location, Alibhai said it made sense to expand the food offerings given the traffic that passes there on a daily basis.

He has seen demand for more fresh foods, especially during game days when there are lines in his store and at the Dunkin' Donuts attached to it.

“It's a landmark in the city. Everybody knows this store,” he said. “This property just cannot survive based on a gas station alone. The only way to increase revenue is to expand.”

Alibhai said his company will operate the food court restaurant inside the convenience store, serving Mediterranean fare alongside fried chicken. Retail has been a hot investment in the Midtown area over the past few years.

Most recently, Coro Realty Advisors purchased 85K SF of Midtown retail properties from Loudermilk Cos. for $500/SF, which includes a number of banner fast-casual restaurants, including Fresh2Order, Five Guys Burgers & Fries and Starbucks.

Even QT has gotten into the Midtown game, last year opening its first convenience store — without any gasoline — at the base of the Viewpoint condominium tower. It was unclear as of press time when the project would be completed, but Alibhai said the BP station would remain open throughout the renovation and expansion. 

"It all depends on the city," he said. "As soon as they can give us the green light."