AutoZone driving ahead with 2nd Roch. store
AutoZone, the leader in the national auto parts retail race, is ready to start grading the lot at South Broadway and 16th Street to prep the site for construction.
That's the spot overlooking the intersection, where the long-empty BP Pump-N-Munch C-store was recently demolished.
This deal first surfaced in April, when Hamilton Real Estate put up a "Sold" sign across the "For Sale" banner. Then it was quiet for a few months other than some chatter about some sort car-related shop rumored to be in the works.
The engine started to race in August, when a permit rolled into the city offices for the demolition of the Pump-N-Munch to be followed by the construction of an AutoZone store. The Memphis-based gear head chain planned follow the Rochester tradition of opening a pair of north/south stores to cover the Med City. Think Target, Wal-mart, Menard's, ShopKo and even Snappy Stop.
Somewhere along the way, the plan seemed to hit a axle-rattling stretch of rough road. Nothing moved on that corner throughout most of the fall.
Then another version of the demo permit drove up with the name of Kato Inc. on it. Kato, the Rochester firm run by John Jensen and Jack Briggs, owns the building, just as it did the other six Pump-N-Munches before closing them in 2009. Notably, the name of AutoZone was no where to be seen on the second version of the application. The building was dropped last month and then squeegeed off the site like it was a smashed bug on a windshield.
Now it looks that the deal has turned the corner. It seems to be in the final stretch and AutoZone is now clearly behind the wheel.
The official paperwork asking for permission to start moving dirt to prep the lot for a construction was filed this week. An AutoZone store is once again described as the ultimate destination.