ASPEN, Colo. — Following an abrupt termination of his month-to-month lease in December, the owner of Eco Steam Wash at the Main Street Conoco, Mario Zulian, said he felt “political motivations could’ve been in play,” according to the Aspen Daily News.
However, Mark Hunt, landlord, said his “only objective was to find a tenant who could pay higher rent,” stated the article.
Since May 2008, reported the article, Zulian has operated Eco Steam Wash from one of the gas station’s garage bay doors, using steam machines to wash a car with only a gallon of water.
Last summer and fall, Hunt asked the City Council and voters toa pprove a proposal for an affordable lodge requiring zoning breaks, continued the article.
During this time, added the article, Zulian started sharing his idea for a “green gas station” as an alternative proposal for the site.
In November, the plan for the hotel, Base 2, was shot down at the polls with a vote of 63 percent to 37 percent, informed the article, and Hunt reported that his new intention was to redevelop the site as a smaller commercial building instead.
In early December, stated the article, The Aspen Times published a letter to the editor from Zulian which advocated for repurposing the Conoco site into a dispensary for alternative fuels, a recycling collection point for motor oils and aerosol cans, a healthy grab-and-go snack shop, a high-speed charging station for electric vehicles and Eco Steam Wash.
“The concept is revolutionary and audacious, with potential to become the new franchise option for gas stations wanting to go green,” wrote Zulian in the letter. “ … Instead of demolishing the old Conoco, this project would focus on remodeling it with elegant and futuristic designs. It would save an enormous amount of resources and funds that can be used elsewhere. It would [also] minimize the construction and noise impacts of developing the site.”
Zulian received a notice six days after the letter to the editor was published which said his lease would end on Jan. 15, added the article, and following the termination notice, Zulian asked Hunt for an extension, which was denied.
Hunt reported that he decided to end the carwash’s lease after he realized he would be “sitting on the property for awhile” before the Conoco Site is redeveloped, informed the article.
Through his company, 232 East Main Street LLC, Hunt paid $6 million for the land in 2014, noted the article.
“As a business person, [and] as someone who bought a piece of property, I had to do what’s right for that property,” said Hunt in the article.
You can find the article here.