Wawa is all over the Delaware waterfront this week, and that’s fine. It’s the rest of the year that’s the problem.
For the 10th year, the convenience store chain is the main sponsor of Welcome America, the big birthday bash that Philadelphia puts on to celebrate America’s founding. Like the city itself, the festivities begin on the Delaware and move inland, with a mouthwatering selection of music, food, and fireworks.
Unfortunately, Wawa now seems intent on making its presence on the waterfront a permanent thing. After briefly abandoning the Center City market a few years back, it has made an aggressive return, opening outposts on what seems like every other corner of Chestnut and Walnut Streets. The next frontier appears to be Philadelphia’s Central Delaware.
In a matter of just a few months, Wawa has proposed not one, but two, suburban-style Super Wawa stores along the river, complete with gas pumps and generous amounts of parking. It started its campaign late last year when it focused on a site in South Philadelphia owned by developer Bart Blatstein. Although Blatstein put the plan on hold after receiving intense pushback from the nearby Pennsport neighborhood, the company is steaming ahead with a similar store-and-gas-station combo at Front and Spring Garden in Northern Liberties, a block inland from the water. Knowing Wawa, and its penchant for territorial domination, this looks more like a coordinated strategy than a simple coincidence.
Read the entire article here: http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/inga_saffron/inga-saffron-philadelphia-super-wawa-gas-station-delaware-waterfront-20180704.html
Apologies for the late notice this month, but for a variety of reasons we need to cancel tomorrow’s May meeting:
– Through a confluence of schedule conflicts, no one at DRWC is able to come to talk about their transit study;
– There is no update on the CDO amendment bill (Councilman Squilla has not scheduled a meeting between the April CDAG meeting and now); and
– The Blatstein Super WaWa/gas station ZBA hearing was rescheduled for June 19, so there is no update from last month, and that hearing is after the CDAG June meeting, which means we’ll be able to discuss it then.
The only update is the proposal for a WaWa with 10 gas pumps at Front and Spring Garden. The developer, Mike Grasso, has not yet applied for permits. The April 30 presentation before the NLNA zoning committee therefore was an “informational” one.
At that meeting, the vote was not to support an eventual zoning variance application for a gas station. This past Monday night, the NLNA board of directors approved and formalized that motion, meaning the NLNA is officially opposed to a gas station at that location.
Grasso is contractually bound by WaWa to apply for permits, so he will be back at some point.
See you in June!
The CDAG APRIL meeting is next Thursday. CDAG meetings are open to the public and we welcome your participation.
April CDAG Meeting
Thursday, April 12, 6:00PM
Society Hill Towers Community Room
6:00 Call to Order and Approval of Prior Meeting Minutes
6:05 Officer Reports
6:15 Update and VOTE: CDAG position on WaWa + gas station zoning variance case on former Foxwoods site
6:35 Update: Central Delaware Zoning Overlay (CDO) amendment bill status
6:45 Discussion: Future role of CDAG
7:15 Old Business
7:20 New Business
See you there!