Berretto's is back on the market

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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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