Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Another Wawa coming less than 3 miles from 17th Street location

Wawa is coming to 4301 Carolina Beach Road and has been submitted to the city’s technical review committee. (Courtesy photo)

WILMINGTON — Almost a year after the first northern-based fuel station chain announced it would arrive in Wilmington, a second Wawa is moving through the permitting process of the city, with a third coming up soon as well.

READ MORE: ‘I don’t like it’: Council members vote on Wawa rezoning, moves to second reading

ALSO: If approved, 5 local businesses out so Wawa can come in

Wawa #6132 will be located on Carolina Beach Road, near Fairview Drive and George Anderson Boulevard. It’s the second store formally submitted and located less than 3 miles away from the first approved store, which will be at 2402 S. 17th Street.

The project was submitted by Kimley-Horn Engineering to the technical review committee Tuesday, including a site plan located on 2 acres at 4301 Carolina Beach Rd. It lists an almost 6,000-square-foot building will sit on a 71,000-square-foot asphalt lot, with roughly 60 parking spaces planned for the one-story facility and five bike parking spaces. There will be 35,000 square feet of lawn, with 380 dedicated to an outdoor seating area.

The new store will be built on a forested lot, whereas the 17th Street location includes demolishing what was formerly Samelin Center and other adjacent structures to build its complex near the hospital.

Last year, the proposed rezoning for a Wawa at 17th Street and Wellington Avenue brought push back from residents and business owners. The owner of Samelin Center — as well as owners of nearby businesses, including an insurance office, hearing aid facility and Pizza Hut — decided to sell to Wawa. It pushed out independently owned operations in Samelin, including Tinyz Tavern and PT’s Olde Fashioned Grille.

Another Wawa is planned to go into the old Hops Supply Company location as well. A community meeting was held last year to take the temperature of area residents regarding the move. Many expressed displeasure due to light pollution, increased traffic, as well as ecological effects on wildlife.

“The overall quality of life for both humans and animals is something that should be taken into account,” Valerie Rider, a representative of the communities of Englewood and Clearbrook neighborhoods surrounding the site, told PCD then. “Just because you’re a big business with deep pockets doesn’t mean that you don’t have a responsibility to care about the people who are here and will be directly affected by this.”

A city representative said the application submitted by Wawa for the Oleander Drive location was incomplete.

“We are awaiting additional information before scheduling this for a public hearing,” spokesperson Lauren Edwards confirmed.

There have been discussions to bring a Wawa to U.S. Highway 17 and Lanvale Road in Leland also.

The Pennsylvania-based company has garnered a cult following for its build-your-own sandwiches, hoagies, wraps and hot breakfast handhelds (“Sizzlis”), as well as coffee and flavored teas. It has more than 900 stores and 700 gas stations nationwide.

Wawa has been planning an aggressive growth strategy in the coming decade to double its store count to 1,800 by 2030. It will fill in gaps along the East Coast from Virginia to Florida.

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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