A Wawa Food Market and gas station is planned for Springfield Avenue between Jacoby Street and Chancellor Avenue, according to a recent release from the Hilton Neighborhood Association which will host representatives of the company at its March 19 meeting.
The HNA meeting notice reports that the 1.5 acre site will house a 5,600 square feet market and five gas pumps and provide 56 parking spaces — “almost double than what is required.”
Local residents who have relocated from South Jersey and Pennsylvania know Wawa well: Ask any transplant and they may wax poetic about Wawa. The site movoto.com explains in the story “27 Things People From South Jersey Have to Explain to Out-of-Towners,”: “I’ll tell you what Wawa is. Wawa is EVERYTHING. It’s convenient gas. It’s the world’s best cup of coffee. It’s a delicious hoagie on the go. It’s a pint of Ben & Jerry’s at 2 a.m. Seriously, if you were to create a convenience store in your dreams, it would be Wawa.”
The chain has often been used as a demarcation of the North/South Jersey divide. However, now that Wawa is in expansion mode, that litmus test of regionalism is fading. The Maplewood Wawa store will be one of the first in Essex County, but there is already a Wawa in Parsippany in Morris County, one in Kearny in Hudson County, and another in Lodi in Bergen County, plus some other locations.
The HNA meeting takes place Thursday, March 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Community Center in DeHart Park, 120 Burnett Avenue.
Representatives from the development company that is building the Wawa will be present to discuss the proposal and answer questions.
Representatives from Elite Properties, the builder of Maplewood Crossing, will also be at the meeting. Elite Properties is proposing to construct a small apartment building with 25 units and parking for 26 cars, replacing an already approved plan for eight town homes on the site.