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Published: Thursday, 8/4/2005

Exxon enters Toledo gasoline market

The first station is open at Roachton Road and State Rte. 25 . The first station is open at Roachton Road and State Rte. 25 .

A local firm is bringing gasoline from the nation's largest oil company to the Toledo area, an unprecedented move that initially could lower prices but eventually could flood out some competitors, one expert says.

J. Shaw Associates LLC has opened on Exxon station in suburban Toledo and plans to begin construction on a second this month, with up to 10 in the next four years.

Each station, with a convenience store and sandwich shop, will cost $1.5 million to $2.5 million and bring a new major gasoline provider to the market.

"We're bringing companies to Toledo, American companies, that aren't here," said Mr. Shaw, who's trying to bring a restaurant chain to Toledo as well.

The Exxon station, with an On the Run convenience store and Blimpie's sandwich shop at State Rte. 25 near Roachton Road opened in March. Mr. Shaw expects to break ground this month for an Exxon at McCord Road and Hill Avenue in Springfield Township, but the site of his other planned stations has not been determined.

Historically, stations from neither Exxon nor Mobil, brands now offered by Exxon Mobil Corp., were found in Ohio, said Ed Weglarz, president of the Great Lakes Petroleum Retailers and Allied Trades Association.

Gasoline prices could be lower once Exxon takes hold in the Toledo area, Mr. Weglarz said. But the added locations could drive some competitors out, bringing prices back up, because the market can only support so many outlets, he said.

Mr. Shaw described his company as himself and a silent partner.

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