BELLEVILLE, NJ - For decades, Wawa has been an institution in Central and Southern New Jersey. The Delaware County, Pennsylvania-based chain of convenience stores and gas stations can be found throughout the Philadelphia suburbs, but is now continuing a major expansion into the New York Metropolitan Area. At the end of 2016, the company opened its first Essex County location in Maplewood and is currently attempting to construct another in Newark’s Lower Broadway neighborhood.
Now, it appears that Belleville could be Wawa’s next stop. A legal notice released by the Township last month stated that 11 Franklin Redeveloper, LLC is seeking to construct a 5,585 retail convenience store and gas station at part of 11 Franklin Avenue. The Belleville Planning Board was scheduled to hear the applicant’s plan for Preliminary and Final Site Plan approval with variances for signage during its special meeting on May 14.
However, although the name of the store and gas station was not listed in the notice, the meeting’s agenda and a report issued on June 6 by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection confirm that the application was for a Wawa location. The DEP's document states that 11 Franklin Redeveloper, LLC filed for and was granted an individual flood hazard area permit for the Wawa along with a self-storage facility and drive-thru pharmacy. In addition, the project’s website now shows that a Wawa is slated to be built on the eastern edge of the premises.
All three businesses would be part of the massive Park 11 mixed-use development project, which is being constructed at a 19-acre site at the southwest corner of Mill Street. Located near Branch Brook Park and Clara Maass Medical Center, the property previously contained Roche Diagnostics and Roche Molecular Systems. The Hampshire Companies and Tulfra Real Estate’s upcoming complex is also expected to include a 125-room hotel, restaurant space, and a four-story office building, according to the project website.
It is not immediately clear when the Belleville Wawa could open its doors. A company spokesperson did not immediately return TAPinto’s request for comment.