Berretto's is back on the market


Joe Berretto Jr., is hopeful that a second crack at the real estate market will prove beneficial.

Earlier in January, he listed the former Berretto's Service Station for sale, a business that's been in his family for generations.

"I grew up there, worked there in high school and college," Mr. Berretto said. "But now, I just don't want it. I don't want to be in the business anymore."

The property, situated at 756 Hope St. — the entrance to Bristol's downtown historic district, is zoned general business and assessed at $387,820 by the town.

However, Ryan Fonseca, Mr. Berretto's real estate agent, has the property listed for $575,000. A fair price, Mr. Berretto says, given its location.

"It's a great location, overlooking the waterfront," he said. "And (the property) could be just about anything. It doesn't have to be a gas station."

Should a potential buyer express interest in the property as a gas station, they'll have to have very strong financial backing.

"In order to get it up and running, they'll have to invest a lot of money," Mr. Berretto said. "The (gas) tanks are good until 2017."

The state changed its law regarding underground storage tanks in 2007. By 2017, all single-walled tanks must be replaced with double-walled tanks. The gas station has six tanks — three for gasoline, one for diesel, another for waste oil, and a sixth for heating oil.

The tanks are currently temporarily closed, a status required by the Department of Environmental Management. To reinstate those tanks, there's a long list of testing that DEM would have to do before they could be operable again.

Mr. Berretto closed the station down a little more than three years ago. He was met with little success at selling the property, though one buyer did come forward.

"We couldn't come to an agreement on a selling price," he said.

While the market is beginning to make a rebound, there aren't many buyers looking for used gas stations, said Mr. Fonseca.

"It's going to be a tough sell, but for the right investor, it could be anything and that's how we're marketing it," he said.


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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.