The Getty gas station and auto repair shop in Sag Harbor was shuttered earlier this month after its owner, Jim Shelly, said he lost money selling gasoline in 2012 and saw no hope for turning a profit this year.
The closure leaves just one operating gas station in the village, Harbor Heights on Route 114, which currently has an application before the Village Zoning Board of Appeals to expand, upgrade and add a convenience store—an application strongly opposed by neighbors who argue the change would disrupt the character of the community.
The Getty, on Main Street, across from Mashashimuet Park and Otter Pond, was leased by East Hampton’s Georgica Services, which started running it in 2005. It closed on January 8.
Mr. Shelly, who owns Georgia Services, said that the gasoline supplier Getty Petroleum went bankrupt in April, ending Georgica’s five-year-lease of the station and losing its rent and gasoline security deposits of $25,000 in the process.
Getty Realty, the owner of the property, gave Georgica a 30-day renewable permit to stay there and assigned it to a new fuel supplier while negotiating a long-term supply lease for all its stations.
This past summer, Mr. Shelly said, the Getty lost money because the new fuel supplier, Alliance Energy Ltd., sold gas to him at prices that would not allow him to be competitive with other stations in the area. At one point, Alliance Energy delivered regular gas to him for 11 cents more than the Hess pump price. Representatives from Alliance Energy did not return a call seeking comment on Tuesday.
In December, Alliance Energy and Getty Realty entered into a 10-year lease on more than 120 properties, including the one in Sag Harbor, he said. “Alliance offered me a one-year lease, but would not commit to a lower rent or a sustainable gas price,” Mr. Shelly said. “No one was interested in buying the business, so I decided to close.”
Five gas station attendants and a manager lost their jobs, but the mechanics are now working at Georgica Services’s shop on Springs-Fireplace Road in East Hampton, Mr. Shelly said. “Running a business where you don’t make any money is just not practical anymore—it never was.”
The fate of the property, which has been a gas station for more than 60 years, is now in Alliance’s hands, but the station, with its 1960s-style pumps, will need to be renovated, he said.