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McDonald’s Officially Proposed for Penns Grove NJ. Planning Meeting Scheduled

McDonald’s Officially Proposed for Penns Grove NJ. Planning Meeting Scheduled
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A new McDonald’s is being proposed for Penns Grove NJ as part of a larger development at the corner of Virginia Ave (Rt 130) and Main St. The extended property currently has a Wawa under development, and previously a smaller multi-store retail building was completed.

This key intersection in town is also home to a Rite-Aid, Walgreen’s, Family Dollar, gas station and Taqueria Atexquita.

McDonald’s is formerly being proposed for a Penns Grove property, where a Wawa is also being developed.

Originally this large property (for Wawa, McDonald’s, Retail) was home to an older shopping center which featured Incollingo’s Market Penns Grove. The older retail buildings were previously demolished, and the new 6,000 sq ft multi-unit retail building was already developed and Wawa is in process.

As part of the original three building project approval, a smaller fast food building was approved along the Virginia Avenue roadside (in front of the retail building parking).  It appears that at that time an actual fast food restaurant tenant was not known, and now that McDonald’s has signed on, the developers will return to the Planning Board on Monday December 13th. Wednesday Dec 13th. (It seems the official public notice was published with an invalid date)

The exterior of this Westmont McDonald’s is very similar to the look of what is proposed for Penns Grove NJ

The original approval was for a 2,000 square foot quick-service restaurant. The proposed McDonald’s will be approximately 3,882 square feet.

The proposed McDonald’s is set to utilize their newer modern style, with an exterior which is very similar to a new McDonald’s which opened in Westmont NJ back in 2019.

For Pennsgrove, I first mentioned the possibility of a McDonald’s for the property back in October of this year, when I wrote about the construction progress of the Wawa. This was based information shared by Penns Grove’s mayor LaDaena Thomas (Facebook Page)

The undeveloped front portion of this Penns Grove lot is proposed to become a McDonald’s restaurant.

The new Wawa site preparation work (including utility connections) has been underway at the main corner of the property.  Recently that initial site prep was completed on the property, and the Mayor announced at her Facebook page that the Wawa development project will transition over to Wawa contractors who will develop the building and gas station aspects. Underground gas tanks should be coming in soon!

The Planning Board meeting for McDonald’s is currently set for Monday December 13th is at 7:00 PM, and will be held virtually via zoom. The Public Notice lists the following Zoom Link.

McDonald’s Penns Grove

As mentioned this proposed Penns Grove McDonald’s is part of a larger project consisting of three new aspects;

  • Wawa: a full super Wawa convenience store with gas station, situated in the corner of the property
  • Retail: a 6,000 sq ft multi-unit retail building which has already been developed next to the Wawa property (along Virginia Ave)
  • Fast Food: A quick serve restaurant situated along Virginia Ave. at the front of the retail building parking lot.
Three facets to this Penns Grove development effort. The large lot on the right will become Wawa. A smaller mult-unit retail building is already developed on the left, and in the front-left a McDonald’s is proposed.

With a common developer driving all three facets of the project, the property traffic patterns and driveways to Virginia and Main St. are shared across the three businesses.   Effectively when completed there will be an interior road which connects to both streets (with an elbow bend). Separate parking areas for the individual businesses then branches off of that interior roadway.

it appears that at the time of the full project approval the fast food brand was not known or signed on so the developers were given approval based on a representation of what could be developed. With McDonald’s signed on, the developer now needs to gain approval of the specific McDonald’s project.

The McDonald’s building is more than 50% larger than what was previously approved. To accommodate the size the building will extend farther towards the center driveway. Also it appears there will be some reconfiguration of the already developed parking area.

Penns Grove site plan layout showing the proposed McDonald’s placement.

I stopped down to the Penns Grove City Hall to take a look at the plans for the proposed McDonald’s.

As mentioned I could see from the plans that the new proposed McDonald’s will be a newer modern “BB20” model McDonald’s restaurant, which is a similar style to what opened in Westmont NJ a few years ago.

It’s a more rectangular/elongated building… with the Penns Grove building appearing to be a little bit more on the smaller size. This proposed McDonald’s will still feature an interior dining area.

One aspect that seems different with this design is that it appears to be split on the inside down the middle along the narrow side… with the dining room taking one side (one quarter) and the customer service counter and vestibule taking the other side (one quarter).

Interior of the proposed McDonald’s for Penns Grove NJ

Drive-thru business has become even more important to fast food restaurants today, and for this McDonald’s it’s taking a traditional configuration as it will offer two lanes for drive-up menu ordering, but then the lanes merge back together to a single running along the back side of the building… with pullup customer service windows.

It’s important to note that the parking associated with the fast food restaurant appears to be shared with the already developed multi-unit retail building, which was part of the original full property approval.   Therefore it seems that for the McDonald’s project they do not need to get full parking approval.

That being said, immediately adjacent to the proposed McDonald’s building there will be 11 parking spaces (two handicap), plus McDonald’s customers will utilize the parking area of the multi tenant retail building which was already approved and developed.

The undeveloped front portion of this Penns Grove lot is proposed to become a McDonald’s restaurant.

McDonald’s Restaurant Penns Grove (Proposed)
N. Virginia Ave (Rt 130) and E Main Street
Penns Grove NJ

Planning Hearing
Scheduled to be held virtually before the Board on Monday, December 13, 2023, Wednesday Dec 13th, at 7:00 PM. The Public Notice lists the following Zoom Link.

(Note: the official public notice was published with the wrong meeting date, and I copied it into this article. It was published with Mon Dec 13th, which is invalid. I’ve reached out to the Penns Grove clerk to address.)