Plans show three of the high-end convenience stores are in the works.
City and county planning documents show Wawa, a convenience store with its own loyal fan base, has plans to open at least three locations in Gainesville.
The plans show Wawas proposed for Archer Road, east Gainesville and Celebration Pointe, a retail development.
Wawa has a standardized media policy that says chain officials will not confirm stores until they are under construction, but their proposed Gainesville stores are nearing approval or are past preliminary concept reviews, which often weed out projects that aren't viable.
City documents show Gainesville’s City Plan Board has approved a special-use permit to allow a Wawa to be built at 2373 Archer Road, currently an empty 2.5-acre lot near Bartram Apartments.
The plans show the proposed Archer Road Wawa to be about 5,500 square feet with 12 gas pumps and an outdoor seating area.
City planner Lawrence Calderon said that all RMC, the project’s developer, has left to do is submit final plans to the planning department.
Calderon said he believes the final plans should comply with city code and conditions set by the Plan Board, allowing the project to be approved by city commissioners and RMC to be issued a building permit.
Project documents say the buildout should take about four months once approved.
Other plans show the oddly-named, high-end convenience store proposed to be built at 1021 E. University Ave. The Sun reported in February about the store.
Brightwork Real Estate plans to redevelop a 2-acre site across the street from McDonald’s in east Gainesville for the store. The 5,500-square-foot store is proposed to have have 12 fuel stations.The site previously was home to a liquor store (ABC Fine Wine and Spirits) and a gas station.
Planning documents show the project is still in its first review cycle.
The project’s coordinator and city planner Jason Simmons said Brightwork hasn’t sent in any resubmittals since the planning department asked for corrections to its plans in December, but he said he believes they are redesigning the project.
“City code says that part of town calls for buildings close to the street, no parking in front of the building — that sort of thing,” Simmons said. “Basically, they’ve got to make it more pedestrian friendly.”
Additionally, plans submitted to Alachua County planners on behalf of Celebration Pointe, a retail development off Interstate 75, show a site plan with a convenience store labeled “Wawa,” along with landscaping and sign plans — all with Wawa labels.
The building is proposed to be about 6,000 square feet in the Commons at Celebration Pointe, across from a Kangaroo Express at 4301 SW 43rd St. Site plans show eight fueling stations.
County planners sent an itemized insufficiency report Feb. 19 to developers of The Commons at Celebration Pointe, which is still categorized as "pending application revisions," according to the county planning website. Planner Christine Berish said the developer resubmitted plans Monday.
Wawa, which has 750 convenience retail stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Central Florida combined, has built a strong customer following. It offers built-to-order hoagies, freshly brewed coffee, hot breakfast sandwiches, built-to-order specialty beverages, and an assortment of soups, sides and snacks.