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The Captain's Club property along Beach Boulevard near Hodges Boulevard is in review for a Wawa store.
Jax Daily Record Friday, Jan. 20, 201712:00 PM EST

Wawa planning stores on Philips Highway and Beach Boulevard


Wawa continues its drive into Northeast Florida with two more proposed sites for development, boosting the number of identified area locations to nine.

The Pennsylvania-based chain of gas stations and convenience stores is considering sites at Philips Highway and Bowden Road and at Beach Boulevard and Brougham Avenue.

One is a former auto dealership at 5735 Philips Highway and the other is the Captain’s Club property at 13363 Beach Blvd.

Both would be redevelopments in which some buildings would be removed and Wawa would build covered gas pumps and 6,119-square-foot retail stores, its prototype size.

L. Charles Mann of Mann-Pellicer is the agent for both projects. He applied this week to rezone the properties as Planned Unit Developments.

The Planning and Development Department said it is reviewing the applications and the description and site plans might change.

Wawa plans to redevelop land now occupied by the former Frank Griffin car dealership.

“The area is transitional and is in need of reinvestment, bringing new users to the corridors,” says an exhibit filed with the proposed Bowden Road Redevelopment PUD.

Ownership at the 4.87-acre Philips site comprises the Frank G. Griffin Trust and Burger King Corp.

The written description said the subject property would combine the existing Burger King restaurant with the remainder of the former dealership to redevelop the site, adding Wawa and possibly another commercial outparcel.

A PUD exhibit shows Burger King will remain, facing University Boulevard West, with Wawa at Philips Highway and Bowden Road.

The Brougham Avenue Commercial PUD shows Wawa would be developed on about 2.5 acres now owned by two entities — Captain’s Club Inc. and B&S Family LLC.

About 1.66 acres is used by the Captain’s Club, and the remainder comprises undeveloped residential lots.

The description says the property will be developed as two parcels. A preliminary site plan shows Wawa on 1.7 acres next to another 0.79-acre parcel.

The description says the PUD “represents a valuable opportunity to promote redevelopment of underutilized commercial property along a major corridor, while promoting reinvestment in the area.”

Wawa said previously it wants to open at least five Northeast Florida locations by the end of this year and to develop up to 40 stores over time.

Wawa Inc. is a privately held chain of more than 730 retail stores in six states. More than 500 sell gasoline.

Operating primarily in the Northeast, Wawa entered the Florida market in 2012 by opening in Orlando and Tampa. It has been expanding throughout much of the state.

On Wednesday, as it announced its launch into Southeast Florida, it said it would open 25-30 stores annually in Florida over the next several years.

Piada not joining Promenade center

A spokeswoman for Piada Italian Street Food said this week the chain has decided not to open in Town Center Promenade near St. Johns Town Center.

She said while there were preliminary talks, a lease was not signed.

She said Piada wants to expand it its current markets and hopes to continue in Florida when it is ready.

A Piada spokesman at Columbus, Ohio, headquarters said in January 2016 the chain intended to open at the Promenade in mid-2017, depending on the timetable of the development.

At the same time, plans continue for other restaurants at the Promenade, including progress the past two weeks for Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Red Robin International Inc. applied to the city for a certificate of use at 4586 Town Center Parkway and an agent received a Concurrency Reservation Certificate for Buffalo Wild Wings at 4594 Town Center Parkway.

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