PLAINFIELD, NJ — Love it or not, the transformation of Plainfield’s South Avenue continued Wednesday with the official groundbreaking of a Wawa on properties that once included Giovanna's, the family-friendly restaurant that bid farewell to the Queen City after almost forty years.
City officials joined with Accurate Builders & Developers for the ground breaking ceremony. Located on South Avenue, on the block considered to be the gateway into Plainfield, the new construction replaces Giovanna’s restaurant, as well as several adjacent lots that once housed smaller businesses, and is between the 7-11 and Freppes TexMex Restaurant.
The project received preliminary site plan approval at a Planning Board meeting in March 2019, although it was met with opposition from almost 100 residents who appeared to learn more about the project and voice their concerns. Final approval was granted in August 2019 after several conditions were met.
The Wawa store will cover approximately 1.74 acres on which a 5,100-square-foot food market store will sit, and will feature twelve fueling gas stations.
Economic Development Director Valerie Jackson thanked Ron Scott Bey, Chairman of the Planning Board, for moving the project through the planning process, as well as Mayor Adrian O. Mapp for his vision and leadership. She also noted that Wawa is now in just about in every city in Union County.
“People invest in leadership," Mayor Mapp noted as he welcomed Wawa to the city, and thanked the governing body for their great partnership and support.
“Plainfield is open for business. There is a lot of activity in the city and a lot more will be happening later this year,” Mapp added, saying it demonstrates the confidence that developers and investors have in the city.
Council President Steve Hockaday recalled his childhood experience visiting Wawa stores in Delaware, saying he had a “soft spot” in his heart, and he recalled the 6-inch hoagies with a bag of Doritos. “Wawa is a valued addition to the community and I hope that everyone in town will welcome and utilize the store,” Hockaday said.
Jack Klugmann, President of Accurate Builders and Developers, shared his excitement as a developer to be in Plainfield. He mentioned that he had never had a process go so smoothly, thanks to the administration.
Accurate Builders will be responsible for constructing the building pad, and Wawa will then construct the store.
The construction is anticipated to take approximately nine months with an end-of-year opening.
Wawa officially opened in North Plainfield on Route 22 in November 2019 at the site of the former Fabricland store.
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