Par Mar Oil Company fueling up Marietta project
MARIETTA — An $8 million to $10 million capital investment project on Marietta’s west side was announced Monday.
The project will be situated at the corner of Gilman and Putnam avenues in the former Peoples Bank parking lot, and will be the largest commercial development in the city of Marietta in the last several years, said Bob Monahan, general counsel of the land holding company.
Monahan said the project will consist of a 14,000-square-foot commercial building with retail on the first floor — including a restaurant, with office space on the second floor. There will be a standalone Par Mar convenience store with gasoline offering and a bolt-on Dunkin Donuts.
The Par Mar Oil Company headquarters will relocate from Westview Avenue to the second floor of the commercial building, said Monahan.
A minimum of 100 jobs are expected to be created.
“Someone pointed (the property) out to me and we did a study on it,” said Brian Waugh, president of Par Mar Oil Company, dba Par Mar Stores. “We’re using the property for multiple uses. We wanted to see if there was enough business for a convenience store and gas station.”
He said bringing in Dunkin Donuts would bring in a new business, and he thought it would be a great place for the company’s headquarters. The restaurant is expected to bring business to the west side as people could walk there for lunch from downtown Marietta.
One restaurant that is being discussed is a sister to one they already own in Pittsburgh called Redfin Blues, Ritton said.
“There’s so many positives to the property,” Waugh said. “There aren’t any gas stations downtown and there’s a constant flow of traffic, not only during the day, but at night.”
Several of the parcels of land have been purchased and the land developers went before the Marietta City Council Monday to discuss the purchase of the last piece of the puzzle — the Peoples Bank parking lot.
Milo Ritton, land owner and property developer, grew up in Parkersburg and is excited about the project.
He said an agreement had been reached with Peoples Bank, contingent on getting approval from city council.
Peoples Bank has to comply with a city parking ordinance, which requires a certain amount of parking spaces for employees. In order for Peoples Bank to sell the property, they would need to come up with 119 parking spaces for employees.
There is a proposal to sell a piece of property on Butler and Second streets, which has 66 parking spaces. The proposal is that the property be sold to the Southeast Ohio Port Authority, who would then sell it to the Peoples Bank.
A variance of 53 parking spaces is sought from the city.
“There are still some pieces that have to fall into place,” Ritton said.
If the measure passes, construction will start in the spring and it will take about a year before the project is complete, he added. The project will be done in stages.
Waugh said Friday that if the city doesn’t pass it, the company would have to look for other alternatives for where to build their corporate offices.
Par Mar has tripled in size over the last five years and they have outgrown their current facility, he said.
“Moving to the west side will allow us to keep the corporate headquarters in Marietta, along with the taxes that go with it,” Waugh explained. “Par Mar is now the 37th largest convenience store chain in the U.S. and employs close to 2,000 people.”
Par Mar Oil Company has been based in Marietta since 1967 and was acquired by Ritton in April 2016. When he acquired the company, Par Mar operated 52 locations. Under his ownership, it has grown to 165 convenience stores, operating in four states.
Ritton said he has made contributions in order to give back to the community over the last five years, including $350,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of Washington County for property renovations, $250,000 to Marietta College, $50,000 to Peoples Bank Theatre and $25,000 to Marietta Memorial Hospital for COVID response measures.
“And awarded numerous scholarships to local students,” he said. “Building this project would solidify our roots in the area, as there is no place we would rather be.”
Ritton said the development will not be owned by Par Mar, but they will be an operating tenant.
Projects in Wood County are also in the works, Ritton said.
The former Liberty Truck Stop and the property at 710 Rayon Drive near Bosley’s are also going to be developed.
Waugh said the former truck stop was purchased at auction last September and adjacent parcels to the Rayon Drive property were also purchased.
Michele Newbanks can be reached at email@example.com.