Portland’s North Deering neighborhood isn’t rich dump-hunting territory. The residential properties tend toward the tonier end of the spectrum, and the business district is more suburban than urban-slummy.
Typical of a suburb, there are a lot of gas stations. Within a few blocks on either side of the point where Washington Avenue meets Auburn Street, there are three filling stations. Or at least there used to be — and very well may be again.
The most southerly located of the three, a relatively new Mobil at the intersection of Washington and Allen Avenue, is the only one currently pumping petrol.
The most northerly one, a Citgo on Auburn Street, went out of business back in the good ol’ days, when regular unleaded was just $2.79 per gallon. However, the station is still in good shape, and the Maine-based energy and convenience-store company C.N. Brown is actively seeking a new owner or renter. (At $2,400 per month, and with gas tickling four bucks a gallon, this could be the deal you’ve been waiting for!)
The middle one, at 84 Auburn St., is this month’s dump. Formerly a Mobil, then a Global, it’s now a Rubble. Hunks of asphalt have been torn up. Sheets of plywood laying around the site have been repurposed into jumps for boarders, bladers and bikers. The pumps were ripped out quite a while ago.
The small convenience-store portion of the operation looks like a low-budget horror movie set. The leaking roof has caused ceiling tiles to fall and molder on the green slimy floor. A fluorescent light fixture dangles like a noose. A pair of slime-green work gloves sits on an empty chip rack. (The gloves are not green from slime; that’s just their color.)
The station was built 40 years ago. Thanks to a sticker on the store window, we can ascertain its death-year, as well. You had to have been born on or before 1986 to purchase alcohol at this Global, so the business likely met its demise in 2007.
The structures and the land combined are valued at over $545,000 by the city’s taxman. The property is owned by Alliance Energy Corp., a gas and snack purveyor like C.N. Brown that’s based in Waltham, Mass. The company operates or leases dozens of stations in New England, and several in the Portland area, including a Mobil on outer Congress Street and a Global on Forest Avenue.
A large wooden sign listing Alliance’s name and a number for prospective buyers to call was laying flat on the ground late last month. I called that number and was transferred to the voice mail of a guy named Dylan, who did not respond to our request for comment.
According to the guys next door at Allspeed Cyclery & Snow, the dump has recently been either leased or
purchased, and will soon become an Irving station.
Allspeed co-owner Chris Carleton said he figures competition from the other two stations choked off this Global’s supply of customers.
Luckily, he’s in the bicycle business. Carleton said he’s planning to put a new message on his street-side sign: “Six tanks of gas equals one bike at Allspeed.”
— Chris Busby
About this series…
That’s My Dump! is dedicated to investigating run-down and/or abandoned properties in the Portland area. Stumped by a dump in your neighborhood? E-mail our regular dump hunter, Chad Frisbie, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and maybe he’ll poke around that one next.