A convenience superstore featuring fresh sandwiches, coffee, food and (most importantly) gasoline is coming to Old York Road in Montgomery County.
The Abington Township Board of Commissioners approved final plans Thursday night to build a brand new large Wawa store featuring gasoline on the vacant lot where a Texaco gas station and car dealership once stood at Old York and Baeder Roads.
The so-called "Super" Wawa cleared board approval by an 11-2 vote at Thursday night's meeting.
Township Director of Planning and Code Enforcement Larry Matteo tells NBC10.com that the board approved final land development and a reversed subdivision plan, which basically combines three former addresses into one property.
Developer Provco Goodman submitted final development plans for the superstore last month in front of the Abington Township Planning Commission.
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 -- 65 spots, according to Abington Patch -- that is severely lacking at the current location.
The old store is set to close when the new store opens.
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.
Besides the Wawa, a plan for a 3,500-square-footbank on the property was also approved, according to Matteo.
Last month, township Planning & Zoning Officer Mark Penecale told NBC10.com that a key to the plan is re-configuring the current traffic pattern. Currently Hilltop Road 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.
The exacts of the road reconfigurations and traffic signal additions still need to be approved by PennDOT, Matteo said.
Another part of the road reconfiguring plan is to turn Hilltop Road into a one-way road.
Matteo also said that he and other township officials have spoken to residents in four homes along Hilltop and the operators of a day care that operates at the corner to try and reach a consensus plan about traffic.
“We are trying to work together and help out everybody,” Matteo said.
Other groups also still need to approve other permits for the site.
Penecale said 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 but currently there is no exact timetable, according to Matteo.
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. It also isn’t clear what will become of the current Wawa property when the new store opens.
Wawa spokeswoman Lori Bruce said that the company looks forward to bringing "the full Wawa offer to the Abington community and are planning to be under construction this year."