“We’ll have gas in Liberty again!”

That was the reaction of one town official, recently, to news that a new grocery store and gas station was under construction on Route 3.

The site, just west of Sherman’s Corner, was home to the venerable Liberty Trading Post until 2009 when a late-night fire destroyed the building.

The blaze consumed the store and an upstairs apartment occupied by then-owner Bob Anderson, but did not ignite any of the fuel tanks on the property. The tanks were subsequently removed, but the gas pump canopy remained — the ghosted lettering “Texaco” on either side serving as a reminder that Liberty used to have a gas station.

Blaine Webber, who bought the property earlier this year with two silent business partners, is hoping to change that.

As of Nov. 22, the second anniversary of the Trading Post fire, workers had framed a new 5,600-square-foot building behind the old canopy and were putting in a fresh layer of blacktop in front of the building that will soon be home to a new gas and grocery business called Liberty General Store.

“I looked at a lot of things,” said Webber, who owns several businesses in Belfast including Coastal Construction, the Waldo Avenue Redemption Center, Sunset Beach Salon and a property management company. “I saw a need for the community out here. I knew the former owners well. It was an excellent match, and before I knew it I was constructing a store.”

Webber is well aware of the present 21-mile gap between service stations on Route 3, from South China to Belmont. Liberty General Store is slated for an official grand opening sometime in early 2012, but Webber said he plans to open the gas station as soon as possible, likely before the grocery store is finished.

To this end, he plans to stock a wide variety of fuels: three blends of gasoline, diesel, fuel for off-road vehicles and K1 kerosene. There will also be a propane filling station for summer residents and RV traffic.

On Monday, a crew of workers was busy inside the empty balloon-frame, wooden structure. Several men were working on the roof and a paving crew was trying to get a layer of asphalt down before a snowstorm that had been forecast to drop between six and 12 inches of snow by the next day.

Webber was grabbing some lunch at Lori’s Café, one of a handful of businesses next to the construction site. Outside, the afternoon sun was bright on the new plywood facing on the outside of the future General Store. The geometry of the new building against the cloudless, deep blue sky was unusually conspicuous.

“It looks big now,” he said, “but with the siding and the products inside, I think it will shrink very quickly.”

As far as what the Liberty General Store will be like when it’s finished, Webber said he is still working out some details; others he is keeping a secret for the time being.

Generally though, he confirmed that it will be a grocery and convenience store. And while the layout will different than the old Trading Post, he indicated the General Store would operate in a similar spirit.

“The Andersons were well-liked in this area and we hope to pick up where they left off,” he said.