Lyon Park Shell Station Is Closed, But Not For Good

by ARLnow.com March 17, 2011 at 3:14 pm 2,791 68 Comments

Several people have emailed us and asked about the Shell station at 2835 Washington Boulevard in Lyon Park. Fences have been erected around the station and heavy equipment brought in to dig up the concrete around the pumps. That has led some to fear that another area gas station might have fallen victim to development.

Fear not, the station is merely upgrading.

County records show that the station is replacing three underground 10,000 gallon tanks. The construction crew is merely digging to reach the tanks.

Workers we talked to said the station will likely be closed for about a month.

  • Lou

    Were the workers you spoke with from the construction crew or the station?

  • Jeff

    Any truth to the rumor that when they re-open they will be selling upscale cupcake-shaped pizza burgers?

    • borf

      With frozen yogurt on top?

      • Cupcake Lover

        ..served by men wearing cargo shorts and brown flip-flops.

    • CW

      I’ve heard that there will be at least 40 beers on tap (available in sealed growlers of course to avoid liability issues).

    • Tre

      +4. And the pumps will fill the car tanks with rainbows instead of fuel.

      • R.Griffon

        Don’t laugh; I’ve been thinking of buying a Nissan Leaf and installing some solar panels. Then I’d be driving on sunshine (“Woo-oooh-oh-ooooh … and don’t it feel good? HEY!) 🙂

  • CW

    OMG, this is not cool…we’ve now lost both shell stations in the vicinity, if only temporarily for this one…I only give my car VPower…

    • Rosslynite

      Who knew that a gas station could inspire such loyalty. They had a story on NPR this morning that said that some mechanics believe all gasoline is the same and that the additives do not really do much. I am sure that was just a bunch of left-leaning liberal socialist tripe.

      • Arlington, Northside

        I know a few mechanics and engineers who will dispute that story. The detergents in Shell’s primium gas are actually very good at cleaning your engine’s valves to help it run cleaner, more effeciently, and can even give you a little bit of restoration of lost power. The octane increase won’t help most cars though.

        • CW

          That “most cars” part is important around here though…there are a lot of finicky foreign high-performance enginers here in Arlington.

          • CW


          • JamesE

            I like my low maintenance American v8, but it still requires 93 octane.

    • CW

      I’m a pretty big consumer of left-leaning liberal tripe myself, but the techs at my dealership all recommend it, and I’ve had my fuel system freak out when running other brands, so I stick to the VPower.

    • John Fontain

      Most of the gas at each of the differently-branded stations in our area comes from the Pickett Road tank farm. Same gas.

      • bob

        same gas, different additive package. More detergent helps!

  • LyonSteve

    Will they install a car wash please?

    Almost impossible to get a quick car wash in Arlington.

    • Thes

      I believe it is not possible to get a commercial car wash *at all* in Arlington on a Sunday. Is anyone aware of such an establishment?

      • Lacy Forest

        On Sunday? Mr. Wash on N. Glebe Road is open until 3:15pm.

        • LyonSteve

          That’s absurd. We just need a simple, single bay automated car wash that are all over the country. Most of the time they are open 24/7 as well.

          • Carolyn

            If you spend $10 on gas at the Exxon between Rosslyn and Courthouse on Wilson/Clarendon, you can get a car wash for maybe $7. I think it’s automated and open 24/7 but it kind of sucks.

          • LyonSteve

            $17 min for a crappy car wash. No thanks.

  • MEP

    What is going in across Washington? I just noticed that HUGE hole.

    • R.Griffon

      Luxury condos with retail on the first floor (and seriously … did you think it could be anything else?). Stay tuned for inevitable cupcake/pizza/burger/froyo announcements.


      But to be honest, I’m glad to see it coming up. That abandoned lot has been an eyesore for a while.

      • Walk2Metro

        Rumor has it that if they cannot afford to build the complex, they will fill the hole with water. One of the local residents even parked a boat next to the site in anticipation. Anyone looking for a boat? Tow it away and it is yours!

        • Walk2Metro

          nice boat.

          • I-Own-It

            That is my boat (see the PA license plate) and it does not say “no boat parking” – no cars can park there, so let me leave it until I am ready to move it in July. I own brown flip flops.

          • Arlington, Northside

            Pay your VA Property Tax!!!!!

    • Zimmy

      The County is installing another beaver pond with your tax dollars.

  • VW_TDI

    Can they add Shell Diesel?

    The local Hess diesel is crap.

    • VW_TDI_Too

      Really? I never noticed any difference with mine. I just count us lucky to have some nearby; many residential areas don’t have diesel for miles.

      • VW_TDI

        The only other option I can think of is the Liberty at Military and Lee Hwy.

        The Hess has a cetane of 40, the Liberty 45.

        Both are super expensive right now.

        • VW_TDI_Too

          There’s also the Navy Exchange right off Columbia Pike by the Pentagon. They sell 20% bio if you’re into that. Or at least they used to. It’s been a while since I was down there.

          • VW_TDI

            Not a big fan of B20. Can a civilian use that station?

          • Arlington, Northside

            No, which is a shame, the Navy MWR could use the funds.

          • VW_TDI_Too

            Really? See now that’s a shame. I never noticed that prices there were any cheaper, so it wasn’t like I was getting away with anything. You’d think they’d be happy for the business as you said. *sigh*

          • VW_TDI_Too

            I never had a problem, but I always swipe at the pump. Dunno if they’d ask for ID if you went inside or not.

          • Arlington, Northside

            They randomly check.

          • Toucan Sam

            Word is, there is a button on the pumps or something, and when prompted “are you a member of the military” you simply push “yes”. Pentagon folks talk all the time about that station, with great affection, and civilians are allowed to use it. Just answer the question in the affirmative if asked.

          • LyonSteve

            Is this on base (i.e. go through checkpoint) or can you just pull up from the street.

            I’ve seen the prices but always thought it was off limits. Maybe I’ll give them a call.

    • CW

      PLEASE do NOT do anything that would invite vehicles of the size that would use diesels (at least stereotypically in this country) into that gas station. That place is frightening enough, with zero room for getting in and out and cars flying into it off of washington blvd and 10th. Work trucks would make that place a nightmare.

      • VW_TDI

        Ok – but my VW sedan gets better fuel economy than most other sedans on the road, and in some situations, hybrids as well.

        It’s a shame that the county doesn’t offer newer diesel passenger vehicles a break on our car tax like hybrid owners.

        • VW_TDI_Too

          Probably due to emissions. They get great mileage (esp. on long hauls), but aren’t as clean burning as hybrids even with recent advances and low-sulfur fuel. Our TDIs will never be SULEV certified, which the Prius and Civic hybrid both are. But they are immensely better than the diesels of old.

        • Toucan Sam

          Problem is, there is more energy in a gallon of diesel than in a gallon of unleaded, which is part of the reason diesels go farther on a gallon. However, due to that higher energy & carbon content of diesel, CO2 emissions per mile are not as great as the mpg might suggest at first glance. The higher energy content is also a reason why diesel is usually more expensive than unleaded. These factors inhibit diesel in USA, despite higher mpg at first glance.

      • CW

        Hah, I insert a caveat into my post intentionally trying not to irritate any VW owners, and in the time it takes me to write my post the TDI people come out of the woodwork!! I’d just like to state again – my previous comments were NOT aimed at you! 🙂

        • VW_TDI_Too

          No offense taken. But I’m guessing there are significantly more of us now than there used to be. It’s been a couple of years now since I’ve had a gas station attendant run out to warn me that I’m putting diesel in my car. It was cute at first, but it got annoying real quick.

          • VW_TDI

            None taken here either. I wrote my response probably as you were typing that.

      • CW

        My god, I go out of my way to make TWO concessions to the VW diesel people and they’re on me anyways!! I know, diesels are good. I don’t want any gas F-350’s clogging up that station either!

        • Arlington, Northside

          That F-350 can haul five HARD workers and all the tools and supplies. Pound for pound, they are some of the most effecient vehicles out there when used for work, which most are.

          • CW

            Right. They’re badass trucks. And nobody even puts lift kits, mud tires or flowmasters on them around here. You should see some of the trucks around back where I grew up. Anyhow, that is not the point. The point is that an F-350, from bumper to tailgate, is roughly the length of that station’s entire lot!!!

          • florida worker

            no an f350 is not the size of that gas station trust me i spent the last two days there and we fit two excavtors a bobcat a vibratory hammer and a power pack on it plus all the supplies needed to install the shoring and for the petroleum guys to hook up the new tanks.plus we still had plenty of room to walk

  • CW

    As a side note, ArlNow moderator/webmaster, have you ever run any stats on the number of hits/views versus posts on comments, etc.? It seems that there is a huge ratio of lurkers to regular posters. I say this because whatever topic comes up, you get someone who is right there involved with it. Talk about field lighting at a high school? Ten people who live right next to it. I make a snide remark about diesels? TWO TDI drivers jump in. If someone said something offensive about three-headed space aliens, that contingent would probably chime in. It seems like the lurking audience is massive compared to the regular posters.

    • Three-Headed Space Alien

      Easy there, punk.

      • CW

        See what I mean??!!

        • VW_TDI_Too

          I hear what you’re saying, and think it’s somewhat valid. But I also think that the super smart and supremely well traveled populace of this great county are just well versed on a wide range of topics. We got this stuff wired. Plus it’s geographically small enough that given just about any point on the map some of use are likely to live close.

          Oh, and BTW, the lack of real forum accounts means that I might be posting under my usual name one day, and VW_TDI_Too the next. Or even in the same day! Or in the same post! Heck, I might get bored and posting as CW himself (*cough* like I did a couple weeks ago *cough*)! IT’S MADNESS!!!

          But it would be neat to see. So … yeah.

          • VW_TDI_Too

            *grammar and spelling

        • CW

          Right, I agree completely with the lack of user names (look at the timestamp on the space alien reply :)). But still, the fact that we’d even have any TDI owners, for example, show up is pretty rare given the percentage of total car owners that they constitute. It just seems that for any given topic, there is an awful lot of response. Another example would be the “celebrity” posters if you will, such as representatives of the county, or developers, etc. who post in response to topics. Of course it’s impossible to validate that it’s really them, but it is usually pretty apparent and believable.

          • Thes

            Also, as we’ve established, there’s a fair bit of sock-puppetry from a dude (or two) who likes to claim under a variety of names he’s got expert personal experience in a wide variety of areas. Don’t believe everything you read.

          • Zimmerman’s waterboy

            To whom do you refer?

  • cj

    Do you really want all the lurkers to post all the time? Productivity in many corners of county life and business would collapse.

  • florida worker

    shell will be putting in diesel.they are changing the tanks due to federal law that states all petroleum tanks have to be replaced every ten years.

  • AG

    What’s going on with the Shell at Ballston?

  • SoCo Resident

    A major oil pollution incident occured on this site from leaking underground oil tanks (LUST), requiring years of remediation. They used “pump and treat” and aeration, I believe. For years, you could hear the pumps going 24/7. Further, I believe (but am not certain) the property behind (now the dentist office) was contaminated and regular residential use prohibited. So, the raised dentist office building was the answer. I hope the tanks are probably being replaced as routine; Shell is pretty good about that. But, small leaks in an underground tank can be very damaging, especially in a close urban neighborhood.

  • CrystalMikey

    Oh man, I was worried for a sec. This my go to station for my GTI….not bad prices and… especially compared to the Shell down the road from me @ Potomac Yard.

  • ArlLiver4

    For all those curious about Diesel — I walked by the station last night and saw that it was open — but didn’t see Diesel on the sign. Just an FYI. I didn’t check the pumps, but I’d imagine they would have updated the sign as well.


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