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    Wawa Starts Major Push Into Tampa Bay Region

    The company will break ground on five stores in the area within the next two weeks.

    TAMPA BAY, Fla. -- Wawa Inc. has broken ground on its first store in the Tampa region. Rising at 3101 Gandy Blvd. in Pinellas Park, this is the first of five Wawa locations in the Tampa region to break ground before the end of May, according to the company.

    Wawa and local officials joined together to mark the entrance into the region with an official groundbreaking on May 16 and also to unveil the store rendering, as well as premiering the new look and store design for the Tampa site.

    "We are thrilled to officially break ground on our first store in the Tampa Bay region and look forward to setting a new standard to quality and appetizing convenience for Floridians," said Wawa President Chris Gheysens. "During the next two weeks we will also break ground on four additional stores in the Tampa Bay community, and by February 2013 Wawa will open the first wave of stores in this market."

    In addition to the Gandy Boulevard location, Wawa will break ground at sites on 30th Street and Fowler Avenue in Hillsborough County; US 19 and Richey Drive, Ridge Road and Little Road, and State Route 54 and US 19 New Port Richey, all in Pasco County.

    "We can't wait to make the Sunshine State our new home, and are committed to filling a void in customers' lives and providing them the level of convenience and appetite appeal our customers have come to rely on us for," said Todd Souders, Wawa's director for store operations in Florida. "This significant occasion provides an opportunity for us to share our business plans for Central Florida, detail our anticipated impact on the local economy, and share our commitment to long-term investment in the Florida economy and community."

    Wawa will mark the grand opening of its first Florida store in Orlando on July 18. Four additional stores are slated to open within five weeks of that date. All told, the Mid-Atlantic convenience store retailer plans to open 20 stores in Florida in 2013, 25 stores in 2014 and 25 stores in 2015. Company projections call for 100 stores in the Orlando and Tampa markets in the next five years, as CSNews Online previously reported.

     

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