Hillsborough Road Shell becoming a Sheetz

Jul. 07, 2013 @ 05:13 PM

Durham’s second Sheetz?: Plans have been filed with Durham City-County Planning to redevelop an existing Shell gas station and a vacant former Blockbuster video building on Hillsborough Road into a new Sheetz.

Sheetz convenience stores and gas stations are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and serve made-to-order food. They also have interior espresso bars, according to their website, https://www.sheetz.com/subpages/definition.jsp.

The Pennsylvania-based company is expanding in North Carolina, opening its 50th store in the state in Wake Forest in February. There is a Sheetz convenience store and gas station in Durham on South Miami Boulevard.

Kenneth Porterfield said he is the operator of the existing Shell station on Hillsborough Road. He said Winston-Salem-based Quality Oil Co. leases the property for the station from the owner of the property, and he has a lease with Quality Oil.

Porterfield said plans have been in the works for a possible Sheetz at the site since November, when the company’s lease on the property ran out. He said he doesn’t know where the plans stand, adding that Shell is still operating there on a month-to-month lease for the property.

“They came over here several months ago and did some testing and drilling and stuff in the ground,” Porterfield said, as part of planning for a possible Sheetz. “No one knows what’s going to happen, no can tell me.”

Porterfield said existing customers of the existing Shell station, which is said is a full-service station with a garage, don’t want to see the gas station go away. He said the station has been in the location for many years.

“We’re not just a gas station and a convenience store, we have a garage where we do auto repair just like in the old days,” he said. “All the service stations are going to convenience marts and that’s bad,” he added. “A lot of people don’t want to see it go.”

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Triangle Rock Club expansion: The indoor rock climbing gym and fitness center Triangle Rock Club is expanding its Morrisville location, is planning to open another climbing facility in north Raleigh, and is looking for a location in the Durham-Chapel Hill area.

The new north Raleigh facility will have 13,500 square feet of climbing area, a 30-foot tall free-standing climbing pillar and more than 74 climbing lanes at 6022 Duraleigh Road, according to a news release. It’s under construction and is expected to open by September.

Joel Graybeal, a managing partner at Triangle Rock Club, said they’re still looking for a location in Durham-Chapel Hill.

“We’ve got a big email blast going out to every commercial real estate broker in Chapel Hill and Durham,” Graybeal said. “We are definitely committed to opening up a third facility in the Chapel Hill-Durham area.”

Graybeal said the company has the capital to fuel an expansion. The company has bank financing and has internal funding sources.

He said the club pulls “a whole lot of customers” from the Durham-Chapel Hill area already. Last year, another climbing facility in Durham called Vertical Edge Climbing Center closed. Graybeal said a large influx of former Vertical Edge climbers started climbing with Triangle Rock Club in December.

“There’s a large base of customers that we have coming from the Chapel Hill and Durham area; they’re already having to drive 30 minutes at rush hour to go over to see us,” he said. “We feel if we came to Chapel Hill and Durham, we feel we’d pull customers from even further west.”

For more information about Triangle Rock Club, go to the website trianglerockclub.com or call 919-463-7625.

Have an item for The Buzz? Contact Laura Oleniacz at loleniacz@heraldsun.com, or at 919-419-6636.