An existing Upper Pittsgrove legacy Wawa convenience store property is proposed to be rebuilt as a new and larger “Super” Wawa store, along with gas station pumps and canopy.
UPDATED: I have the site plan!
This project is scheduled for the Upper Pittsgrove Land Use Board to review on Thursday January 18th, 2023 (full details at bottom)
The current Wawa store sits South of the circle which is formed by the intersections of Route 40 and Route 77.
Wawa owns the land of the current store, but they had also previously purchased the open field surrounding the back of the property… which is at least an additional 4 acres.
For the development of the new store and gas station, they will be utilizing the larger extended property.
UPDATED: I do now have the site plans and I’ve updated the article with the image above. Note, for easier understanding of the project I used the actual site plan and created an overlay onto Google Maps. Placement is very close but may not be perfect.
The blue square shows where the existing store is located. It will be demolished. The green shows the placement of the gas pumps, and the red is the new convenience store.
Wawa will be fully utilizing the extended property behind the existing store, and develop the new building much further back. This will provide ample room for gas pumps in front, and a large number of parking spaces including larger (and longer) spots for trucks.
Many will call out that the existing store was actually upgraded about 10 years ago. While it is still the smaller footprint of the legacy Wawa stores, the entire store at the time was remodeled to represent a style similar to the more modern Super Wawas… but the current store does not offer public bathrooms.
Which then could make readers wonder if Wawa was keeping the existing store building, and just adding gas station pumps?
The Planning Notice does clearly say “to construct a Wawa convenience store with sale of fuel” but doesn’t mention demolition or the new stores square footage.
Well, I was able to connect with the attorney listed for the project who did confirm that the plan is to build an all new larger Wawa convenience store (in line with the newer designs) and the current store at the corner would be demolished.
My assumption is the new Super Wawa convenience store building will be developed in the classic Wawa layout with the convenience store in the back (the field behind the existing store) and the gas pumps in front… but I am working to 100% confirm that.
For the hearing and approval, it appears that the business use matches the zoning for the property which is Highway Business. That being said there are several variances requested mostly related to distance/size… Buffers, driveway placements and signage.
As is the case with all projects being presented to townships, there is a chance that up until the last minute the hearing could be postponed to another date or even canceled… without additional public notice
Wawa’s Continued South Jersey Expansion
The last few years Wawa has clearly been on an expansion mode in South Jersey by developing stores at new locations as well as upgrading legacy stores.
Growth is a key part of the plan but some would say it is as much a defensive move to lock in key communities, roadways and intersections to make it difficult for other competitors to move into the area or expand.
Over the last few years It seems that most of the Wawa news stores have been in the more densely populated older communities such as Gloucester Township, Voorhees, Deptford, Oaklyn, Washington Township, Gibbsboro and more. Locations where a retail store’s sales may be higher due to population, and could be more attractive to competition to expand.
What I am noticing now is there appears to be a second Wawa wave of projects in more rural, less populated areas… which are also still very important to the Wawa brand.
I’ve recently written about plans to add a Wawa to Logan Township on the busy Rt 322 in the area of all the warehouse development.
A Wawa is currently under construction in Penns Grove.
And last year a new Wawa was approved for Rt 47 in Dennis Township… which is a very popular location during the busy summertime beach season, but becomes quieter in the office season.
Links and Location
Super Wawa – Proposed
Elmer, NJ 08318
Upper Pittsgrove Township Land Use Board Hearing
January 18, 2024, at 7:30 PM, prevailing time
Upper Pittsgrove Township Municipal Building
431 Route 77
Elmer, NJ 08318,