A Super Wawa could soon be filling the void where a gas station once was while offering a larger store to its loyal customers.
But first, the new Wawa must clear a set of hurdles before construction can begin at the vacant lot where a car dealership and Texaco gas station once stood along Old York Road in Abington, Pa.
Developer Provco Goodman submitted development plans for the superstore located at Baeder Avenue, Hilltop Road and Old York Road in Abington in front of the Abington Township Planning Commission Tuesday night.
The proposed new 4,700-square-feet convenience superstore would feature six gas pumps that are currently missing from the traditional Wawa store located a short three minute walk down Old York Road at the intersection with Rodman Avenue. The new store also would also feature a much larger parking lot that is severely lacking at the current location.
The gas offering is key to the plan and would give drivers a pumping option that is severely lacking considering the closest gas stations on Old York Road are more than 1.5 miles away in either direction.
The Super Wawa would also offer a boost to the Fairway shopping district that recently has lost businesses including the Barnes and Noble, which is set to reopen as a CVS in the coming months.
Abington Township Planning & Zoning Officer Mark Penecale tells NBC10 that a key to the new plan is re-configuring the current traffic pattern. Currently Hilltop crosses with Baeder just before both roads intersect with the western side of Old York Road. The reconfiguration would create a five-way intersection with traffic signals for each different direction.
Hilltop Road could also be made into a one-way road.
Penecale says that some concerns could come from residents with properties that abut up to the rear of the proposed Wawa property because no 24-hour a day store has stood on the lot previously.
The size of the lot also has drawn concerns from some residents.
Lora Lehman, who lives about 2.5 miles away, said at Tuesday night's meeting that “this is absolutely not the place for this Wawa … [and] the plan should be discarded, as it’s fraught with difficulties,” according to the Abington Patch.
Overall, though, the plan seems to have support. It must still however clear a township code enforcement committee vote next week before heading to a vote by the full Board of Commissioners the following week, according to Penecale.
Penecale also says that the Montgomery County Conservation Board and the state Department of Environmental Protection also must approve permits for the site before building can begin.
If the proposed store is approved and all permits are obtained, construction could begin with six months.
Details like if all the current employees at the smaller Wawa will retain their jobs remain unclear but the company has a history of bringing employees to new locations.