Wawa, the Pennsylvania-based gas station and food store that is expanding rapidly in South Florida, has identified its first location in Doral.
That means the city with a big international business sector and a large population of Latin American immigrants could soon get a taste of the hoagies and coffee that have charmed Wawa’s core customers in the Mid-Atlantic.
Miami-Dade County officials received a pre-application for the Wawa on Jan. 30 from Wagas V Doral LLC, an affiliate of Orlando-based Unicorp led by Charles Whittall. It concerns the 1.56-acre site at 3300 N.W. 87th Ave., which has a 6,181-square-foot building that previously housed a Tony Roma’s restaurant.
The developer acquired the property for $6.4 million in January. The development plan calls for replacing the old restaurant with a 6,119-square-foot Wawa store with 12 fueling stations, table seating for 28, and 43 parking spaces.
Miami attorney Brian S. Adler, who represents Wagas V Doral in the application, said that the pre-application was filed with the county as part of a new process that allows county departments, such as those dealing with fire safety, water and sewer, and environment factors, to review the impact of projects that would also require city approval. By allowing for a county review before seeking city approval in Doral, that allows any issues raised by county staff to be resolved sooner so that delays are avoided, he said. Whittall couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
This is the 35th Wawa location that Business Journal has identified as either open or in the pipeline in the tri-county area. While some Wawa locations are already open in Broward and Palm Beach counties, the first Wawa in Miami-Dade broke ground in December.
Wawa previously announced that it intends to open 50 stores in South Florida in five years. It’s closing in on that goal.