WAWA, Pa. — Wawa Inc.'s efforts to double its network footprint within the next decade continue to take shape as the convenience store retailer unveils further plans for Ohio and Indiana.
After officially announcing in December plans to open its first c-stores in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, Wawa brought forward its first location for approval in the Buckeye State, where it plans to open a cluster of sites in 2025.
Ohio's Liberty Township's board of trustees approved plans for Unicorp National Developments Inc. to build a Wawa in the township, Journal-News reported.
The new c-store is slated for 7160-7198 Cincinnati Dayton Road, near Skyline Chili in the long-dormant northeastern corner of Liberty Way and Cincinnati-Dayton Road on the southern border of Liberty Township.
The new Wawa will replace an existing car wash and former Dairy Mart convenience store, which eventually closed, leaving the site abandoned for several years. A short-lived pool supply company occupied the property for a time after that.
Since the opening of the nearby $350 million Liberty Center in 2015, the area has drawn in more business development — most recently the November opening of Butler County's first Costco about one mile east on Liberty Way — and the abandoned intersection corner had become a rarity of undeveloped property in the area, according to the news outlet.
"This is a perfect location for Wawa and the community. It takes an unproductive, deteriorating property and puts it to great use for our residents," said Liberty Township Trustee Todd Minniear. "Wawa is known throughout the country as being a great place to work that provides a superior product and service. We are pleased Liberty Township has been selected as their first Ohio location."
Moving further west, Pennsylvania-based Wawa plans to open its first Indiana location in Noblesville. The site is planned for the Midland Pointe housing and commercial development at State Road 32 and Hazell Dell Road, reported IndyStar.
The project will include 256 rental units of two-story flats, three-story units and townhouses. The Wawa will be situated along State Road 32, next to a Crew Car Wash and other businesses, Jim Adams, president of co-developer Secure Holdings, told the Noblesville City Council last week.
Wawa Spreads Its Wings
The upcoming stores in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky are part of Wawa's new market expansion that includes its entrance into Tennessee. The c-store operator's current plans call for the opening of up to 40 convenience stores in the Nashville, Tenn., market in the coming years, as Convenience Store News previously reported.
"We have received thousands of requests over the years to spread our wings further west! We couldn't be more excited to announce our growth plans in these markets as we will soon serve more people in new communities with our unique brand and offer," John Poplawski, vice president of real estate for Wawa, said at the time of the announcement. "We can't wait to reconnect with those that know us from existing markets and meet new friends and neighbors come 2025 and beyond!"
Wawa is also focused on extending its footprint in the Southeast. Earlier this month, the retailer shared details of the company's plans for south Florida and the Florida Panhandle regions, as well as the Mobile, Ala., area. Wawa first announced plans to open up to 40 c-stores within four markets in the Southeast in April 2022.
Additionally, the Pennsylvania-based operator is looking to spread its wings into southern and coastal Georgia, with store openings planned for 2024.
Wawa operates nearly 1,000 c-stores throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington, D.C.