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BP convenience store opens in Somerset

Blame it on the rain.

The new BP gas station -- which was originally scheduled for completion around Christmas -- opened its doors for business Jan. 21.

Ryan Grubbs, owner of New City Development, said the October rains delayed the 5,000-square-foot facility's construction.

"We couldn't do any of the excavation for the two retail buildings nor finish our parking lots without a solid week without rain," Grubbs said. "We ended up being the very last paving project of the year for the paving company in November.

"Another few days of rain and we wouldn't have been able to finish until the spring."

The gas station is situated on the corner of County Road C and Aspen Drive, right outside the River Hills housing development.

Grubbs said the gas station will be the cornerstone of the new development. There are already two more retail buildings under construction due to open in April.

"Confirmed tenants include Somerset's first pharmacy, two new restaurants, a printing and shipping store and a liquor store," Grubbs said.

With only one space left to lease, Grubbs said he is setting his sights on constructing an office building, retail shops and a hotel/bar/restaurant for 2009.

"Somerset has much to offer," Grubbs said at the beginning of the project. "I think with some much-needed commercial growth, Somerset can pick up maybe a little faster than the rest of the market."

The "official" grand opening for the BP gas station will be in February, complete with specials and offers. Operation hours will be 5 a.m. - 10 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. Sundays, with pay at the pump 24 hours.