With change ahead, campus service station to wind down operations
Change is coming to the corner of Campus Drive East and Serra Street near Escondido Village, where a campus service station will be winding down operations in the coming months and traffic realignments will follow.
Campus Valero Service, the station at the corner, will close in late May or early June. The operators hope to reopen the business as an automotive service-only facility not far from campus and are working now to identify a new location.
The university is planning for changes in the area around the service station, including a redirection of traffic along Campus Drive. The station’s current 10-year lease ends in July, and the university elected not to renew the lease in order to accommodate change in the area.
Stanford has conducted a survey of other gas, service and auto-repair businesses in the surrounding area, identifying 24 such businesses between 1 and 3 miles from Stanford that are available to members of the campus community, including along nearby El Camino Real. Bicyclists also are able to pump up tires and complete small repairs at a number of locations on campus, including at seven bicycle safety repair stands.
After the service station’s closure, work will begin on a new traffic roundabout at Campus Drive East and Serra Street similar to three other roundabouts on campus. Stanford has pursued the development of roundabouts in recent years to smooth traffic flow and to improve safety for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians who converge at busy intersections.
The newest roundabout actually will replace two intersections because Campus Drive at that location is split into two one-way roadways, each intersecting with Serra Street. The two sections of Campus Drive, which currently go around the service station, will be realigned – both to meet up with the new roundabout and as part of a longer-term plan to provide flexibility for future development in that area of campus.
There has been a gas station at the current Campus Drive location since the 1960s. Leroy Wicks has owned the business for the last 20 years and before that was an employee for many years. His daughter, Esther Jenkins, now manages day-to-day operations of the business, which includes a small convenience store and automotive repair services in addition to gasoline sales.
“On behalf of Leroy Wicks and our employees, I want to thank the Stanford community for its loyal patronage over 46 years,” Jenkins said. “We are sad to be leaving, but we hope to continue providing service in another location to be determined. We will be communicating with our customers about our plans as they develop.”
Stanford is assisting the Wicks family by assuming all costs of removing the underground gasoline storage tanks at the service station once it has closed, and the university has worked to help the family with other aspects of the transition.
“We are working to make this transition as smooth and successful as possible for the tenants,” said Leonie Batkin, managing director of asset management in Land, Buildings and Real Estate. “We started discussions with the family last summer to provide as much lead time as possible, and we are meeting monthly to work through issues with them.”
The university has set up a telephone line to provide assistance to anyone with questions about the transition. The number is (650) 725-8534.