Owner Jey Edward is fixing up the former gas station at the northern corner of the Arts District.
The Silver Spring business owner has long sparred with the city of Riverdale Park over the future of the site, but he told the Hyattsville Wire in a recent interview that he wants to improve the building to join the recent revitalization of Route 1.
“I want to clean up so my name can be good again,” he said.
Edward ran a gas station at the site starting in 1976, and he recalls helping neighborhood kids fill their bike tires for free and doing other “good deeds” for the area. But the building sat empty for years, leading the city to threaten at one point to take the property using eminent domain.
For a while, the biggest impediment was the fact that it was a former gas station, but Edward had the gas tanks removed and the soil remediated in 2008. Edward later proposed putting a Dunkin Donuts on the site, but the city refused to rezone it.
The current renovations include putting broad glass windows on the building, and renovating the inside including repairing the electoral work, to make the building more attractive to commercial tenants.
Edward said he does not have a tenant yet and would consider selling the building, though he’d prefer to lease it.
“I don’t know who will come,” he said. “I don’t know what will eventually be there because it’s been Jey’s Auto for 41 years .”