UNIVERSITY PARK -- Pennsylvania convenience store and gas station Wawa is looking to bring its first Sarasota County station to University Parkway.
Developer Thomas Engineering of Tampa filed the plans with Sarasota County for a 6,119-square-foot convenience store at 4900 University Parkway, on the corner of Honore Avenue. The store will be built on 3.353 acres with 16 pumps and 58 parking spaces, according to the plans.
The University Parkway Wawa could be the first Sarasota County Wawa to open, as the convenience store chain continues its Florida expansion. Wawa already has plans to build three stores in Manatee County, including 6,119-square-foot stores at 5310 14th St. W and 701 First St. E and a 5,636-square-foot store at 4455 State Road 64 E.
The privately held chain was founded in Wawa, Pa., and is known for its quality food as much as its low gas prices. Wawa, which is a Native American word for flying goose, features a wide selection of freshly brewed coffee and prepared and made-to-order hoagies. Most Wawas are open 24 hours 365 days a year.
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The University Parkway Wawa would be across from Benderson Development's University Park Center with Kohl's and The Fresh Market, and along a bustling stretch of retail that lacks gas stations near the University Town Center shopping area, save for a Mobil in Lakewood Ranch.
The Development Review Committee will also review what appears to be another Wawa planned for 2344 S. Tamiami Trail at Englewood Road in Venice. The plans are filed by Belleair Group, which is the developer for the Wawa on State Route 64 at the former Eckerd Pharmacy. The convenience store does not have a name attached, but is also 6,119 square feet with a second retail building pegged to be 8,450 square feet.
The gas stations will be reviewed at the Thursday Development Review Committee meeting, which begins at 9 a.m. at 1001 Sarasota Center Blvd., Conference Room No. 2.
The DRC meetings are open to the public, but no input is taken during these meetings. The committee reviews basic requests by applicants before a formal site plan and application is reviewed.
Charles Schelle, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter @ImYourChuck.