Listed for $1.3 million, a landmark restaurant in Fairview Heights could be demolished if the city approves plans for a MotoMart on U.S. 50.
Mark Daniels, owner of the Dandy Inn, has a pending contract with Moto, Inc., a Belleville-based oil company.
His Irish restaurant closed in January. Now, Moto, Inc. wants to put a gas station there, even though some residents aren’t happy about the plan.
“Things are going to get very difficult here,” said Lisa Davinroy, a Fairview Heights resident who lives on Old Collinsville Road. “I think it’s going to drive our property values down. Fairview Heights has enough businesses and enough business space.”
The project would include a gas station with eight dual pumps, a take-out restaurant, drive-thru, automatic car wash and 31 parking spaces at the intersection of U.S. 50 and Old Collinsville Road.
Daniels is sure the gas station will bring more tax revenue and jobs to Fairview Heights. But his neighbors have concerns about traffic, flooding, pollution and noise.
During rush hour on a recent Wednesday afternoon, a steady stream of cars flowed through the intersection, making it difficult for residents on Old Collinsville Road to pull out of their driveways.
Davinroy thinks the problem will get worse if another gas station comes to the neighborhood.
That’s one of the reasons why the city has requested a traffic study before Moto, Inc. can move forward with its plans.
“Traffic drives business,” Daniels said. “If you don’t have traffic, you’re not going to have businesses.”
Not everyone agrees.
Raymond and Phyllis Berkel of Fairview Heights remember rallying for their stretch of Old Collinsville Road to remain residential in the 1970s.
The couple raised 10 children along the busy thoroughfare. Now, they are retired and worried about more congestion moving into the neighborhood.
A Huck’s gas station sits on the other side of the street at 1029 Lincoln Highway. Dandy Inn’s address is 1030 Lincoln Highway.
Davinroy thinks it’s a bad idea to put another gas station across the street. But Daniels doesn’t see it as an issue.
“The money they are going to make here is going to get dumped back into our community not just Fairview Heights,” Daniels said.
Plans for the business remain contingent on the results of the traffic study and a vote of approval from the city, Moto, Inc. confirmed Thursday.
As for preserving history, Daniels is considering sharing bricks from the property if plans are approved. There’s also talk of using a portion of the building for a new welcome sign for the city of Fairveiw Heights.