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    Exxon to Sell Most Virginia Sites to Local Operators

    Stations selling for $500,000 and up, depending on location.

    HAMPTONS ROAD, Va. -- The faces of 48 dealers operating Exxon gasoline stations across Hampton Roads probably won't change, but the name on the pumps will, reported the Hampton Roads Daily Press.

    "When we assessed the market in Hampton Roads last year to see how we could be more competitive, we determined that customers wanted larger convenience stores," said Patty Delaney, spokeswoman for Exxon in Fairfax, Va. "The company-operated stations offered larger stores."

    Delaney said the company plans to continue operating all company-owned gasoline stations and convenience stores in Hampton Roads. Delaney says Exxon has 23 such stations in the area.

    In an effort to become more competitive, Exxon will shed its 48 dealer-operated stations by allowing local dealers to buy the sites. Of the 48 sites in Hampton Roads, only eight have yet to go through the process of rebranding.

    James City County Exxon dealer and station operator Melvin Washington is in the process of selecting a new brand for his station now. He says his Exxon sign should change by the end of November. "Overall, it's going to be a better deal to own the station," Washington says. "I've been paying rent for years, and now I have a chance not to pay rent, and the station becomes an asset."

    Washington says the stations are selling for $500,000 and up, depending on the location. If a dealer doesn't want to buy a station, Washington says Exxon is still putting the station on the market, but dealers have the first chance to buy the site.

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