A newly rehabbed gas station in Brooklyn, one of the city’s earliest independent operators, is still waiting to get its product moving. Joy Oil Shop, which has been pumping gas from its 1904 brick building on East 24th Street for over 100 years, finally got an $80,000 permit from the Department of Buildings in December, but it has still not been approved for its planned Monday opening.
Joy Oil Shop’s landlord applied for a permit early in June, but it was temporarily delayed after inspectors said it needed extensive repairs to its infrastructure. An additional permit for a pump was approved on July 6. That was also the same day that an inspector blocked the entrance to the building while she checked the gas line. The landlord posted signs in the window that a “rush of progress” meant the gasoline was ready, but Joy Oil Shop owners Andy and Lauren Joy say they are still not able to get their products flowing. They are blaming the city.
“It’s been a process, because we had problems with the service line,” Lauren Joy said. “But we believe the reason that the permit hasn’t been approved is because of some errors on the part of the city.”
The building’s gas pipes, also part of a 2014 DPW permit, were last in good working order in the 1970s, their owners said. So when Ms. Joy inquired why the permit was late and what the problems were with the service line, she said, she wasn’t given an explanation.
“But they have that source of pipe now, so they have the answer,” she said. “It’s all been working for years, and they’re still not letting us open.”
The owners, who are hopeful of relighting the gas line early next week, said it is cost-prohibitive to repair all the plumbing and wiring, including wireless networks and electric wiring.
“It’s just going to take me a lot of time, so I don’t really want to spend the money on it,” Mr. Joy said. “But at the same time, it’s sad.”
According to the DPW, which would not comment on the Joy Oil Shop case, the speed of approval has not changed.
“While we wish the building permit was issued earlier, we want to make sure it’s the right permit,” agency spokesman Joanne Galisky said. “The appropriate permits and inspections are required for all renovation projects, and approvals are routinely delayed for reasons unrelated to construction sites. We apologize for the delays that have occurred.”
According to Mr. Joy, the building has had requests from the New York Public Library and DZ Bank — some of which were delayed because of a site survey in 2016 — but has been awaiting city approvals for the past four years.
“Our building is the original gas station, so what’s in there and what’s going in here are all the history of the city,” Mr. Joy said. “That’s what’s so great about this building.”