Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Business

SPC trustees may sell some Tarpon campus property for Wawa store

TARPON SPRINGS — The St. Petersburg College board of trustees will discuss Tuesday whether to sell some property at the Tarpon Springs campus to a developer who wants to build a Wawa convenience store.

St. Petersburg-based R.K.M. Development Corp. wants to purchase a 0.91-acre, L-shaped sliver of a parking lot near the intersection of U.S. 19 and Klosterman Road, said Doug Duncan, the college's senior vice president of business/administration and IT services.

In addition to paying $400,000 for the land, the company has offered to construct a new parking lot on college property to make up for the spaces that will be lost in the sale, he said.

"I think it's a win-win situation, so we will certainly present it (to the board) that way," Duncan said.

R.K.M. plans to build the Wawa store and gas station on an adjacent piece of land that currently houses an old gas station. The land it hopes to purchase from SPC will be used as parking for the new store, Duncan said.

He said that after the campus has a new parking lot, the college may explore relocating the campus entrance on Klosterman Road to a more central location to the east.

"I certainly think that it will be a positive thing," Duncan said. "It's more than just selling a little sliver of land. We think it will actually make the campus look nicer."

Wawa, a Pennsylvania-based chain, is popular in the Northeast for offering made-on-site deli hoagies, baked goods and gourmet coffees 24/7. Wawa plans to focus its growth on Florida over the next two decades, potentially building 300 to 400 additional stores.

Five stores are expected to open throughout the Tampa Bay area in the next few months.

Liz Behrman can be reached at (727) 445-4154 or [email protected] To write a letter to the editor, go to tampabay.com/letters.

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