Northeast Florida Could Be Next Stop for Wawa
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- With its presence firmly set in the Orlando and Tampa Bay markets of Florida, Wawa Inc. could be looking to move into the northeast region of the Sunshine State.
There are no concrete plans, but commercial real estate firm CBRE Inc. is prepared to help the Pennsylvania-based retailer set up shop in the market. CBRE already represents the central Florida site searches for Wawa.
According to a report by the Jacksonville Daily Record, Collis McGeachy, a senior vice president at CBRE in Jacksonville, is handling site inquiries for Wawa in northeast Florida in the event the chain's plans turn north.
"I'm here to answer questions for them and keep sites on file," he said. Every three months or so, "I have somebody who submits something."
McGeachy added that Wawa is focusing on expansion along the Interstate 4 corridor. At some point, he thinks the company will start considering sites north and south along I-95 and I-75.
Wawa spokeswoman Lori Bruce told the news outlet that the company does not have any stores under construction in the Jacksonville area and she cannot "confirm anything not under construction."
Wawa is a relative newcomer to the Florida marketplace. The company opened its first location in the state in July 2012 across from Sea World in Orlando. Wawa went on to open five convenience stores in the area in five weeks. Earlier this year, the retailer opened its first location in the Tampa Bay market.
To date, Wawa operates 14 convenience stores in the Orlando market and eight in the greater Tampa Bay market. The company plans to open at least 12 more stores by the end of this year.
In 2014, Wawa also plans to open 14 stores in the Tampa Bay market and 11 stores in the greater Orlando market, as CSNews Online previously reported.
Wawa owns and operates more than 600 convenience stores, including 300 gas stations, in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Florida.