Make us your home page
Instagram

Clearwater will get its own Wawa

The corner at Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard and Belcher Road will add a Wawa to an apartment complex and a Walmart Neighborhood Market.

JIM DAMASKE | Times

The corner at Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard and Belcher Road will add a Wawa to an apartment complex and a Walmart Neighborhood Market.

CLEARWATER — Months ago residents learned that a Walmart Neighborhood Market and a luxury apartment complex were destined for 30 acres of bare land at Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard and Belcher Road, one of the busiest intersections in the county.

But another business planning to build there, the Tampa Bay Times learned this week from a city official, is Wawa, a Pennsylvania-based convenience store chain with a rabid following.

"I'd go — I like Wawa," said Kristin Pitts, 24, who recently moved to Clearwater from Washington D.C. "We had them up north, and I'd order the turkey and cheese hoagies."

Wawa, which promises clean bathrooms, foamy lattes and made-to-order hot hoagies, has announced it will open 100 locations around Central Florida in the next five years. The first in the Tampa Bay area opened last week at 3101 Gandy Blvd. in Pinellas Park.

Site work began this week on the long-fallow acreage at Gulf-to-Bay and Belcher, with bulldozers downing trees and making room for a new retention pond on the property's southern end.

The property was previously occupied by Lakeside Mobile Home Park, but residents were forced to move out and the mobile homes were removed six years ago.

When the city of Clearwater approved the development project, proposed by Nickel Plate Properties in 2010, residents feared imminent traffic gridlock. However, the developers have agreed to spend nearly $1 million on road work, such as right-turn-only lanes into the commercial center that will occupy the north side of the property, said city planning and development director Michael Delk.

"Traffic will still be pretty bad," he said. "But after the work, it won't be worse than it is now."

Walmart Neighborhood Markets are grocery stores with a smaller footprint than the brand's massive supercenters. Once the store is built, supermarkets will occupy three of the four corners of the intersection. Wawa, which also sells gasoline, will compete with a gas station across Gulf-to-Bay.

"More competition around here will hopefully mean lower prices," said Clearwater resident Sharon Nevill, 68, who was shopping at the Publix across the street on Friday. "I'd put up with a little extra traffic for that."

The Wawa, Walmart Neighborhood Market and apartment complex tentatively named Lakeside Clearwater should open by summer 2014, said Ed Armstrong, attorney for Nickel Plate.

Armstrong would not reveal what other businesses might locate in the shopping complex. More specific plans will be announced this summer, he said, when deals with those companies are expected to close.

Danielle Paquette can be reached at dpaquette@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4224. To write a letter to the editor, go to tampabay.com/letters.

Clearwater will get its own Wawa 02/15/13 [Last modified: Friday, February 15, 2013 7:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. PolitiFact Florida: How would Florida fare in Graham-Cassidy health care bill?

    National

    Following a sharp rebuke by late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., hit the airwaves to defend his bill that would undo much of the Affordable Care Act.

    Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La.
  2. Whatever happened to the Zika epidemic?

    Health

    Remember Zika?

    The last time Gov. Rick Scott warned Floridians about the potential threat of the mosquito-borne virus was in July, when he urged residents to still be vigilant against bug bites and standing water. At the time, doctors and researchers were bracing for what was supposed to be another active summer …

    Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are responsible for transmitting Zika. Cases of the virus are down dramatically in Florida.
  3. Pinellas licensing board needs cash. Will the county give it any?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– The grand jury that said Pinellas County should not take over the troubled construction licensing board also said the county should bail out the agency before it goes broke in 2018.

    Pinellas County Commission chair Janet Long isn't keen on the idea of the county loaning money to keep the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board afloat. The county has no say over the independent agency, which could run out of funding in 2018. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  4. Is the Bundt cake back? How retro baked goods are becoming trendy again

    Cooking

    Once there were grunts and slumps, buckles and brown betties. Oh, and pandowdies and sonkers. In the olden days, people routinely made angel food cakes, tomato soup cakes and hummingbird cakes. These were not Duncan Hines mixes, but rather confections made from scratch following yellowed and stained recipes in your …

    Nothing Bundt Cakes in Tampa offers a variety of options, from tiny “bundtinis” and 10-inch cakes that serve 18 to 20 people. Core flavors include lemon, marble, red velvet and chocolate-chocolate chip, with featured flavors like confetti.
  5. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]