YUCCA VALLEY — The Town Council agreed Tuesday night to sell an abandoned gas station to HiRoad owners Terry Madden and Jason Taylor for $205,000.
The Pioneertown business partners plan to renovate the building at 55460 Twentynine Palms Highway and use it for retail, a coffee shop, metal fabrication, meeting space and as the headquarters of the Jessi Combs Foundation.
Combs, a record-breaking race car driver, was Madden’s girlfriend and was killed in August while attempting to break a land speed record.
“I appreciate the patience of the town,” Madden said last night. “I want it now more than ever. I want it for her.”
The Jessi Combs Foundation will be dedicated to educating, inspiring and empowering women of all ages, Madden said.
The owners hope to make it a true destination spot for motorcycle, bicycle and off-road enthusiasts.
“Economically, I can not think for a second it is not going to benefit Yucca Valley,” Taylor said.
The council members said they loved Madden and Taylor’s passion for the project along with their vision for transforming the gas station and giving it a second life.
“I fell in love with your town,” Taylor said last night.
He is active with the King of the Hammers races.
The council members and staff said Madden and his team were the first people to approach the town about buying the property and they had been negotiating with them in good faith for several months.
“I can feel your passion,” Lombardo said. “I am really excited to have you here.”
In total, the town received five proposals to buy the abandoned gas station, from developers with ideas from building a brewery to showcasing classic cars.
“It’s refreshing to have competition over one spot,” Lombardo said. “I like the idea for a brewery; we’ll have to find a spot for that!”
Mayor Pro Tem Abel said small businesses are the heart of a community and praised the new project.
“I can’t imagine a better fit than this right now,” Abel said.
The town purchased the property in 2010 to make way for a planned road realignment, but no longer needs it, according to Deputy Town Manager Shane Stueckle.
Ray Gonzales, one of the potential buyers speaking last night, said he had concerns about old gas tanks still in the ground, and cautioned the town about costs to remove them.
“It could cost a million dollars to remove those tanks,” Gonzales said.
The last appraisal on the property was for $205,000 in 2010, according to staff reports.