Wawa eyeing land in East Manatee

EAST MANATEE -- Wawa, a Pennsylvania-based convenience store and gas station, may be making its way to East Manatee County.

The gas retailer is eyeing a site at the intersection of State Road 70 and Lorraine Road, making it at least the fourth Wawa location built in the county. An application for the site plan is on file with the county.

In addition to the convenience store, the 5,636-square-foot store would have some outdoor seating and 16 pumps. The chain is known for its own line of coffee, made-to-order sandwiches and inexpensive gas prices.

The proposed store, which is in review for the final site plan, would be approved through the administrative review process, said Barney Salmon, the project's planner for Manatee County. Wawa filed the final site plan with the county Oct. 7.

The review process is expected to be completed within a couple of months, but Salmon said he didn't know when the store was expected to open.

Wawa spokeswoman Colleen Labik declined to discuss the anticipated opening date.

"Because we don't want to disappoint anyone, we typically do not announce new store locations until construction has begun and all permits are obtained," she said in an email. "Therefore, we can't yet confirm all the specific cities and towns we are in the land-development process with, but we can say that we are continuously looking for new store sites throughout our market area, including Bradenton.

While we are still in the development process with this site, we look forward to keeping you updated as our plans take shape."

Project comments from the reviewers within the county are due Oct. 29. If approved, Wawa would have the county's OK to build but would still need a building permit.

According to the final site plan application, the Wawa would be built on vacant commercial land.

The other stores being built in Manatee County are at 701 First St. E., 5301 14th St. W. and 4455 State Road 64 E.

With more than 630 stores in the U.S., the company has stores in Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.

Claire Aronson, East Manatee/Sarasota reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7024 or at Follow her on Twitter @Claire_Aronson.