During the unrest in Sherman Park in 2016, one of the buildings destroyed was the neighborhood BP gas station. Reconstruction of that station began in November and will open as soon as construction is completed…dependent on weather conditions this winter. The same operator will run the station, Mr. Pakhar Singh.

I suggested in August of 2016 that British Petroleum rebuild the station but find Mr. Singh another location and install a member of the neighborhood as operator. I have nothing against Mr. Singh but thought the change would be a sympathetic gesture on BPs part plus an open willingness to invest in the future of the Sherman Park neighborhood.

And here is one of the reasons I supported this idea, from the JSOnline article linked above:

According to Vaun Mayes, a community activist, there were complaints over the store’s operating hours, nearby trash and what he indicated was a perceived lack of respect for the community by the gas station’s owner and workers.

Mayes said it was important for Singh to meet again with the community before reopening to “deal with the issues that were brought up.”

And I do have a lot of respect for Alderman Khalif Rainey’s opinion although his opening statement seems a bit tepid in support of the current state of the BP station:

“By state law, he has a right to rebuild,” Rainey said. “Over this course of time, I’ve had an opportunity to build a relationship with Mr. Singh. I think he is a decent guy, has good intentions. He can play a role in helping Sherman Park return.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the gas station rebuilt. We’re ready to move forward and turn a page on the situation.”

So best of luck to Mr. Singh and Sherman Park. And I hope that there is new and open relationship between the business and the community!

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