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    Wawa Moves Its Footprint Further South

    Site work is underway in Florida's Manatee-Sarasota market.

    BRADENTON, Fla. -- Wawa Inc. continues to move its convenience store operations south, spreading its Florida portfolio to the Manatee-Sarasota market.

    According to the Bradenton Herald, Bradenton city officials last week issued permits to Wawa to install underground gas tanks, which marks the first phase of construction and site work on the lot at the corner of First Street and Sixth Avenue.

    Wawa is eyeing a December opening for the Bradenton store, but does not have a specific date yet, Lori Bruce, a spokeswoman for Wawa, told the newspaper.

    Wawa continues to expand across the Florida market, two years after entering the Sunshine State. Its first Florida store opened with great fanfare in Orlando in July 2012. To date, the Pennsylvania-based retail chain has 43 convenience stores in Central Florida.

    Its expansion from Orlando west to the Tampa Bay market is now reaching Manatee and Sarasota counties. The company has approvals to build 6,119-square-foot stores at 701 First St. E., 4900 University Parkway and 5301 14th St. W., as well as a 5,636-square-foot store at 4455 State Road 64 E.

    Plans for additional Wawa stores are popping up in southern Sarasota County as well, according to the news report.

    Wawa operates more than 635 convenience stores, with more than 365 offering gas, in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Florida.

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