Station Sold, But Not on eBay

Historic Des Moines facility to be moved from current location

DES MOINES, Iowa -- A historic gas station in the East Village area of Des Moines, Iowa, that CSP Daily News reported was being offered on eBay has been sold, according to The Des Moines Register. The buyer of the station and the building's permanent location were not immediately identified Former Historic East Village Inc. board president Sarah Oltrogge, however, confirmed that the building will remain in the East Village area.

The buyer is a local businessman who owns property in East Village, she told the newspaper. He found out about the sale of the gas station through an eBay posting put up last month, although the purchase was not made online.

The 1,000-square-foot property with two auto-service bays was built in 1931 by Continental Oil Co. as a training station for dealers. For 28 years, the building housed a family-owned service station run by Don Roberts.

Concerns arose about the future of the building in August when the property was sold to JSC Trust, administered by Jim Cownie. Developers planned to tear the building down to make way for a landscaped parking lot, said Paul Hayes, president of JSC Properties.

Historians and East Village advocates rallied to find ways to save the structure. In March, Historic East Village Inc. bought the building from Cownie for $1 and took over the responsibility of moving it off his land.

In April, the nonprofit used donations, grants and its own money to pay to move the structure to its present location. Property owner Hansen Cos. agreed to let it remain there until the beginning of August.

Oltrogge said she does not know how the new owner will use the building.