Wawa's Move to Florida Gains Speed

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Wawa's Move to Florida Gains Speed


TAMPA, Fla. -- The Florida convenience store landscape is gearing up to welcome a new member this summer. Media, Pa.-based Wawa Inc. is eyeing a July 18 opening for its first Sunshine State store in Orlando, with more locations slated to follow within the year.

Last summer, the Mid-Atlantic c-store operator began taking steps to expand its reach, with the news that it would set up shop in Florida for the first time, as CSNews Online previously reported. At the time, it was reported Wawa was aiming to open 100 new stores in the state.

Construction began on the first location in Orlando this past fall, with an early November groundbreaking ceremony held for the new 5,000-square-foot Wawa. That store is rising across from Sea World at International Drive and Central Florida Parkway.

Now, with that store working toward a mid-July finish, the convenience store retailer plans to open a half-dozen more locations in Orlando and roughly the same amount in the Tampa area by this time next year, according to the Tampa Bay Times. To that end, construction will begin this spring on locations at Gandy Boulevard in Pinellas Park; the site of a former Giordano's restaurant in South Tampa; at Starkey and Ulmerton roads in Largo; and at Bloomingdale Avenue and U.S. 301 in Hillsborough County, the news outlet reported.