Wednesday, March 25, 2020

[EXCLUSIVE] RaceTrac to Finally Open on Site QT Wanted

A new RaceTrac is coming to a long-vacant site at the intersection of Windy Hill and Austell Roads in Marietta.  The property was most recently a used car lot, but has been vacant for several years.  Planned for and located at 15 Windy Hill Road, the new RaceTrac is slated to be the brand's "5.5K" model, a roughly 5,400 square foot convenience store paired with a sixteen pump fueling station.  A recent review of Cobb County real property records reveals that the site has an interesting history involving, surprisingly, QuikTrip Corporation, easily RaceTrac's most significant competitor in the Greater Atlanta modern convenience-store market.  

ToNeTo asked - but real estate professionals initially contacted could not answer - why QuikTrip would purchase the 2.25 acre tract in 2011 for $2.2 million, but then turn around and subsequently sell it for $150,000 less to RaceTrac in 2019.  Why would QuikTrip sell such a prime and potentially lucrative location to its bitter rival?  To find out, ToNeTo turned to Cobb County Superior Court records for the answer.   

Court records show that QuikTrip first entered into a contract to purchase the parcel from owner Ofer Bar Lev.  After conducting its due diligence, however, QT exercised its right to terminate, and walked away from the sales contract.  After learning that RaceTrac (through its real estate arm Del Lago Ventures, Inc.) was a "back-up," and automatically had assumed "first" position after QuikTrip terminated the Bar Lev contract, QT immediately re-opened negotiations with and eventually purchased the parcel from Bar Lev - but at  a higher price than originally agreed to before RaceTrac entered the picture.  

After Bar Lev terminated his sales contract with RaceTrac and sold the property to QuikTrip, RaceTrac for its part, thought it had a legally enforceable sales contract with Bar Lev and decided to go to court to enforce it.  So in August 2011, RaceTrac sued Bar Lev in Cobb Superior Court seeking, among other remedies, "specific performance" of the contract.  Because Bar Lev already had sold the property to QuikTrip, the court permitted RaceTrac to bring QuikTrip into the case as an additional defendant.  

The case was litigated over the course of several years.  After a bench trial in July 2017, the presiding judge ruled in RaceTrac's favor.  The judge ordered QuikTrip to sell the property to and compensate RaceTrac for its legal fees to the tune of $350,000.  QuikTrip appealed, but the Georgia Court Appeals affirmed and upheld the judge's order. 

ToNeTo Atlanta spoke with several real estate professionals about this series of events and none could recall anything like this ever happening before.

A site-plan for the the new RaceTrac suggests it will have three access points: Austell Road, Windy Hill Road and Arkose Drive, a residential street off Windy Hill.

Both Atlanta-based RaceTrac and Tulsa, Oklahoma-based QuikTrip have been active in metro Atlanta over the past several years, but much of QuikTrip's activity has been so called "scrape & rebuild" projects, whereas RaceTrac has opened several completely new locations.

RaceTrac has in recent years opened new locations in metro Atlanta including those in Brookhaven, Hapeville and downtown at 120 Piedmont Avenue, where it opened in conjunction with "The Mix," a student housing high-rise.

ToNeTo Atlanta reported in early 2018 that RaceTrac was planning a new location at the corner of Cobb Parkway and Windy Hill Road, but subsequently tabled their plans.   In late 2019, the Folks restaurant that occupied part of the would-be RaceTrac parcel closed and is actively being marketed for sale.

Cobb County property records indicate that QuikTrip purchased 1350 South Cobb Drive, about three miles from 15 Windy Hill Road, in 2007 for $1.4 million.  Records further indicate that it was not until 2011 that the company built what is now a 20 pump fueling station and convenience store.

QuikTrip opened a new location on Howell Mill Road in West Midtown in 2018 and has completed scrape and rebuild or relocation projects in Brookhaven, near Decatur, East Cobb, and near the CDC, among others.  ToNeTo Atlanta exclusively reported November 5 that QuikTrip is finally moving forward with a long-planned location at the corner of Northside Drive & 10th Street near Georgia Tech.  Existing buildings have in recent weeks been demolished from the site, and the site was, as of last week, being prepped for construction. 

Do you prefer RaceTrac or QuikTrip? 

Please share your thoughts below.         


CloseOTP said...

I prefer supporting a local company, but I will not buy gas from RaceTrac as they do not sell "Top Tier" gas. QuikTrip does. It's disappointing that RT does not see the value in selling Top Tier gas. I find it interesting that somehow QT can sell Top Tier at the same price RT charges for its gas...

Anonymous said...

Even more interesting is how Costco can sell top tier for as much as $.25-$.35 less per gallon than QT. I’ve seen someone comment about top-tier before, and besides some kind of licensed name, what exactly is the difference?

CloseOTP said...

Top tier gas has a higher level of detergent. As quoted by AAA: Among brands tested, non-Top Tier gasolines caused 19 times more engine deposits than Top Tier brands after just 4,000 miles of simulated driving. Such carbon deposits are known to reduce fuel economy, increase emissions and negatively impact vehicle performance, particularly on newer vehicles

Cody Cargle said...

Personally I prefer Racetrac over Quicktrip because Racetrac has a nicer convenience store than Quicktrip in general, plus the soda machine is about the same at either one, but for far as the gas station itself, Quicktrip has more appealing gas station than Racetrac of course, anyways Raceway is the alternative to it in my current area where I live now? 🤔

Kimberly said...

Has is cheaper at racetrac and they give rewards for free items... they also are cheaper on cigs than QT.... they overpriced and not near as friendly as my Race Trac folks!! Shout out to My RaceTracs Kennesaw Barrett and Old 41.... Dallas Hwy west Cobb... and the new one at Cobb and paulding county.... made a lot of good friends there! All the employees treat you like your best friend! It’s �� awesome

Anonymous said...

QT buy some its gas from RaceTrac

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