Wawa April 2023 Construction Update for four locations in the 42Freeway area; Oaklyn, Erial, Blackwood and Washington Township.
A fifth Wawa is also under construction in Mount Laurel, and I’ll have an update on that location later in the week.
Both Oaklyn and Mount Laurel are further along in the development process and will have a Spring opening.
A new location for Logan was just recently approved but I don’t expect anything to have happened there.
Also, almost two years ago a Mantua location was approved on Route 45, to replace a classic Wawa which would be across the street. I have not gotten an update on why that project has not moved forward yet.
Wawa Openings: What’s The Date? Why The Pause?
With Oaklyn and Mount Laurel opening sooner, it appears to me the next in line would be the Blackwood-Clementon Rd. location, which in my visit last week had the tanks installed and the concrete pad foundation for the building in place.
I know people are looking for very specific dates or even a month, but Wawa just doesn’t offer that information this early in the development game. In fact the only online acknowledgment of upcoming stores is to say that Oaklyn and Mount Laurel have a Spring 2023 opening planned. They don’t even acknowledge the other stores yet!
Also, I regularly get questions regarding the long pauses that can happen in a Wawa construction project. I filmed a video a few weeks ago to explain some of the pauses between Wawa construction phases but did not put online yet.
But a simple summary of that is Wawa uses two sets of General Contractors for a store construction.
The initial general contractor is locally based and is responsible for getting approvals, clearing the property, and installing the stormwater management systems.
Then the project is typically turned over to a second general contractor who is more familiar with the actual building and gas station development.
During that turn over to the second contractor, there can be several months delays as the schedules of the two contractors don’t always line-up perfectly.
Now on to the Wawa April 2023 Construction Update!
Wawa Oaklyn New Jersey
The new Oaklyn NJ Wawa is being developed on the White Horse Pike, at the site of a former auto dealership.
I visited yesterday and saw that the property exterior looks 99.9% complete. The exterior aspects including landscaping look all in place.
While I didn’t walk up to the store’s glass windows but I could see from some of my photos that interior cabinetry/counters is in place… at least some of it.
But again, every exterior facet looks complete. The full building and all of its décor elements such as exterior stonework are completed. Signage is up. Even the landscaping is completed including sod, mulch, and plantings (including trees in the back) are all completed!
All of the asphalt is in place including the striping for parking spots and traffic flow.
Even the gas pump area looks ready to go, with the pumps installed, showing the signature Wawa signage and logos in place.
In my visit yesterday there were about 8 construction trucks still on site with two of them focused on the gas tank area.
It’s an indication to me that interior work is still taking place and the store has not been turned over to Wawa yet, for inventory and local employee training.
I’ll be keeping an eye out for an official opening date.
Wawa Blackwood-Clementon Road Gloucester Township
The Blackwood-Clementon Road Wawa is being developed on the former location of the Entenmann’s baked goods facility (and the previous Rita’s water ice).
That lot was cleared last year and sat for several months, waiting for the next phase of construction to start… core building development.
In my bonus February update I showed that the underground gas tanks were going in.
In my visit last week I see that there has been significant progress at the location in just 5 weeks… they’ve clearly moved on to the core convenience store construction aspect.
The underground tanks now appear fully installed (some work likely still remains), and the big change though is progress with the main convenience store building.
As of my visit last week the concrete foundation for the Wawa store has been poured, and workers have dug the trenches to run the underground utility lines to the building, such as natural gas, water and sewer.
The foundations for the gas tank area and canopies also appear to be poured, which in this case is really large blocks of concrete deep into the ground, with large heavy duty bolts extending out for the canopies and other aspects to be bolted onto.
Driving by you’re not seeing these details that I can get from flying my drone, and likely think that progress has been moving slowly.
But this is a very important phase of any construction project, and takes time to make sure it’s done properly!
Based on my experience following other Wawa store developments we are likely to see the framework of the building and the gas canopies start soon. Heck it’s been about a week since I visited, and for all I know they may have already started the framework for the main building!
Wawa Erial Road Gloucester Township
The Erial Road Wawa really only started construction a few months ago, but it seems to have already caught up to the progress at Washington Township’s Five Points Wawa project (which started ahead of Erial).
The Erial Wawa location is at the same intersection as the Erial Volunteer Fire company building, and the Rite-Aid pharmacy.
Wawa took over a former bank property which is on another corner of the intersection, as well as several homes adjacent to the former bank which was needed to make the property large enough for the Wawa.
That entire Wawa corner lot is cleared, with the stormwater management systems in place.
What this means is the stormwater grates that you would see in the parking lot to collect rainwater are installed, as well as the underground piping systems.
Additionally, a water retention basin was developed in the corner of the property. This was likely more work than the more traditional recessed pit, as to fit this project into the property they went with a block supported wall construction with a deeper trench.
I would expect that the installation of the underground gas tanks are next, and then after that the building construction would start.
It is important to note that at this phase it is possible we could see a pause in construction, as typically a different set of general contractors take over after this level of site prep is completed.
Wawa Five-Points Washington Township
The Wawa being developed in Washington Township (Gloucester County) at Five-Points has been under planning and development for several years.
The location is right at the Five-Points intersection of Route 41, Route 47, and Egg Harbor Rd.
It is newly created larger plot of land, which was developed by the relocation of Blackwood-Barnsboro Road where it connects to Egg Harbor Road.
This location did have a longer time frame to get full approval for the development. From my perspective Washington Township approved this early on, and a portion of the delays were in providing a clear site plan and traffic flow to Gloucester County. (Egg Harbor Rd. is a County maintained roadway)
in the same extended property, a new Burger King restaurant is also planned. It will be directly next to the upcoming Wawa, sitting closer to the corner of Blackwood-Barnsboro Road and Egg Harbor Rd.
For my own visual interpretation it appears that the Erial Rd. and Washington Township locations are at a very similar construction stage, with site prep and stormwater management systems mostly completed.
For Washington Township I can see the stormwater grates (which would be exposed in the parking lot) are in place, which would also include the underground piping.
There are two rows of several PVC pipes sticking out of the ground, which could be confused as signs of the gas tanks being installed. I believe though that is also part of the stormwater management system, and will be like a long strip of parking lot drains to capture water…. Likely at the edge of slightly graded parking lot.
There is also a visible water retention basin being developed, in a more traditional pitted-basin style. A concrete block is seen there but as of last week it was still mostly dirt, and may have some more work still needed to be completed.
As I said with the Erial store location, there is some chance that we see another delay before the next phase of the project starts
Typically, Wawa uses two different general contractors for the initial site prep and water management systems versus the core building and gas station construction… and there could be a pause in construction progress as the two contractors schedules don’t always line up perfectly.
I have no updates on the timing of the Burger King portion of the property.
I know Burger King for Five-Points are the same owners who developed the brand new (and very nice) fast food restaurant on Blackwood-Clementon Rd. In an unofficial conversation one of the managers over there they expressed a lot of eagerness to get started on the store.
Links and Locations
1006 White Horse Pike
Oaklyn, NJ 08107
1340 Blackwood-Clementon Rd
Blackwood Gloucester Township NJ
Erial-Clementon Road and Erial-New Brooklyn Road.
Erial Gloucester Twp NJ
Wawa at 5 Points Intersection Washington Township
Egg Harbor Road at 5-Points
Washington Township New Jersey