February 12, 2016

Presto under new ownership

Presto Convenience Store in Gardner is under new ownership. The store, part of a chain, is one of five in the Kansas City area purchased by North Carolina-based The Pantry. Details of the cash deal were not disclosed.

The local convenience store, located at the intersection of Moonlight Road and Santa Fe Street, lost its gas storage tanks through eminent domain when the city demolished the intersection and built a cul-de-sac at the Santa Fe in its place.

Although the gas pumps were never replaced, the store remains open.


  1. Dave Drovetta says:

    The gas storage tanks were required to be moved because of the Moonlight project. The owner was paid for the cost of the tanks and moving them. He elected not to do so.

  2. Maybe you don’t understand that eminent domain is the takiing of private property thru government acquisition. There is a process, but once a property has been marked for taking by a city, it’s fair market value drops. Who would buy or invest in a property that has been marked for (basically) condemnation by the city? For example Mr. Drovetta, if a city earmarked your home for eminent domain, or maybe just your front yard and kitchen, how do you think that would effect the value? Now let’s say the city also closes your driveway, makiing you access your property thru an alley, how would that effect your property value? Especially if you made income selling “widgets” from your garage? Even if the city paid you for your access, kitchen and yard, would you choose to invest in the property? I would say in this hypothetical situation, you might “elect” not to invest more money. There is information available that explains eminent domain on the internet. Before you judge this business owner for “electing” not to make an investment – especially when he was forced into “selling” his property to the city – maybe you might also take a look at private property rights.

  3. I must say that the former owner of Presto, Obviously had his reasons for opting out of the moving of the gasoline tanks. As I worked for Presto when it first opened I must say in the last year or two the store had really gone downhill from when Presto first took over from the former Ken’s Express and renovated it.. And speaking from exeperience from years ago, presto could have used new pumps and storage tanks anyways. As in gas pumps are not supposed to freeze in winter as they did a few times in my time there. Word has it that the new owner is bringing the gas pumps back, and props to the new owner as I’m already seeing improvments to the store itself

  4. Dave Drovetta says:

    I understand the process of emminent domain and you are incorrect about the assessment of fair market value. The fact that land is being considered for emminent domain is not a factor in the assessment process. The comparabloes used for assessment are the factor in valuation.

    The compensation is based on what is physically taken as well as the impact of the taking. In your example if the impact results in a change in use or an inability to use the property the compensation is reflected as such and goes up above the actual value of the land taken.

    In this case the owner was given the money to buy new tanks and have them installed. That was money over and above the actual value of the land acquired.

  5. I do understand about comparables. However, I still contend the city of Gardner took private property, and severely impacted the use thereof, whether the owner wanted to sell or not. If in fact, the city paid to have new tanks installed, and in such a way as to be affordable based on new EPA requirements and property requirements, as well as loss of income during the construction period, I’m surprised the city has not asked for that money back. Most typically, the government entity offers what it believes to be fair market value, and the property owner has to hire an attorney to negotiate a true value. I’ve seen it happen many times. Do you have a business Mr. Drovetta and do you understand the cost of doing business? The actual cost of land, even if the government’s offer is adequate, does not begin to offset total cost, including long term loss of business due to hampered access. Maybe, just maybe, the business owner decided not to replace tanks because after being forced to sell, the owner believed the city’s attitude towards business is highhanded and hostile. If you do have insight into actual monies paid for the tank, please share it. And rather than grasping onto a phrase to justify your position, please look at the overall situation.

  6. Dave Drovetta says:

    I know the details surrounding this issue and the picture you paint is wholly inaccurate.

    I understand clearly the costs of doing buisness. I have been in line and executive management positions with P&L responsibilities for over 20 years.

  7. So you are a mid level manager. That’s great, but you manage money. There’s a difference in managing a corporate pocketbook as opposed to hustling and selling, when your name is on the line. Have you ever talked to a banker about getting a business loan? Perhaps you could talk to someone from the SBA. They offer information free of charge.
    If you do know the details of this particular situation, and I am incorrect, please share them with me. My only concern is that you act as tho the business owner was incorrect in electing not to continue business after having his property taken by the city.

  8. Good ole Emminent Domain……..I know he sat at the table at every one of the property purchases for the horror story BNSF intermodal project……….that one sure as heck was not for the benefit of the community in my opinion but for the money and greed mongers and there are lots of them out there and they definitely have “line and executive management positions with P&L responsibilities for over 20 years.”

  9. If the picture I paint is entirely inaccurate regarding the taking of private property, why was eminent domain threatened. If the owner was a willing seller, I would think he would have put his property on the market.

  10. Samuel K,

    Of course he knows the details, He’s the mayor.

  11. So that’s why he’s puffed up. Probably all he knows is what staff tells him. Anyone can run for office, but at least he seems willing to communicate.

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