Wawa Eyes New Hatboro Site

The convenience store giant is looking to set up shop at Horsham and York roads, officials said.

"Gotta Hava Wawa"?

The answer is yet to be determined.

The Hatboro Borough Council is expected to hear from Wawa representatives at its Jan. 23 meeting. Officials said Monday that although Wawa has yet to file a formal application, or submit plans, the convenience store chain is looking to open a second borough location at the intersection of Horsham and York roads.

Council President John Zygmont said he's heard - unofficially - that Wawa hopes to purchase the building currently housing , as well as some additional adjacent property. The plan as far as he knows is it, Zygmont said, is to still operate the existing at the other end of the roughly 1.4-square-mile town on North York Road.

The newer facility, if it is built, would have gas pumps, Zygmont said.

"I have heard from some people who are very much opposed," Zygmont said. "And some people who are very much in favor."

Borough solicitor Christen Pionzio had suggested asking Wawa officials to meet with neighbors prior to the borough meeting so residents could "speak freely," rather than herding everyone into borough hall in two weeks.

Borough Manager Steven Plaugher said Wawa reps indicated to him that "they just wanted to get a feel from council" about the concept.

"No plans have been filed," Plaugher reiterated. "I think that was kind of their goal, to talk to you guys."

Zygmont said he'd like to hear from residents before plans are filed.

"When they put the application in, it’s basically the whole ball is rolling and it’s a little too late to get the neighbor feedback," said Zygmont, who had previously suggested sending letters to neighbors of the proposed development. "Wawa will be here on the 23rd, whoever comes comes."


Charles McElroy Jr January 19, 2012 at 01:44 AM
Dave, Council can only request the money from the Authority. The Authority usually gives the Boro the interest from the invested money for capitol projects.
Tea Kay January 19, 2012 at 01:51 AM
Wow - is this fact or guesstimate??
Pat Inganilia January 19, 2012 at 12:23 PM
Council used the Authority money to buy the Wachovia bank building on York Road just to get more parking spaces. Getting more parking spaces is good, but isn't saving our history as worthy a goal?
Jenortip January 19, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Why not propose that the Wawa split the parcel. Keep the Old Mill building in tact and build on the two parcels on the south side of Horsham Road. Let them pay the taxes and maintenance for the property until another buyer is found. As a condition of sale, make the Wawa bring the Old Mill building up to a condition that would pass an occupancy permit. Using the building as a nonprofit museum would exempt it from property taxes. Main Street style buildings are not set back from the road. Propose that the new developed property be built with a Main Street style in mind. Strip malls and shopping centers have parking in front of the building. Main Street style has parking behind the buildings. Communities like Williamsburg VA have new buildings that compliment the old buildings.
KLS January 20, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Does Hatboro really want underground gas tanks in a flood zone?
Carol Inman January 20, 2012 at 10:36 PM
I cannot emphasize enough the need to get your opinions expressed to Council, Main St. Hatboro (see above and below) and Wawa (I'll post separately) before and immediately after the meeting. Main Street Hatboro officers contacts page: http://www.mainstreethatboro.net/Page_2.html John Zygmont, President jzygmont@hatborogov.org
Carol Inman January 20, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Write to -- they say they'll respond -- accept no form letters! www.wawa.com/WawaWeb/Contact.aspx
April Fox Regan January 21, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Main Street Hatboro, while sympathetic to issues like Historic Preservation, cannot stop Wawa. Boro Council wants to know how our residents feel. My friends and I are trying to start up a Resident's Association -- something missing in our community -- to help Main Street, Boro Council, and our Historical Society make Hatboro better. We are trying to reach out to get like-minded residents to come to the next Millbrook Meeting on Weds at 7 (Hat Baptist Church.) If you want to be kept in the loop about the birth of Hatboro Resident's Association, see us as Hatboro Life on Facebook (and here on the Patch).
B Tompkin January 21, 2012 at 08:49 PM
Thank you April. I will attend.
Leslie J January 23, 2012 at 12:29 AM
Thank you, April, for getting the ball rolling on this. I have been talking with quite a few people, and they are all very interested and excited about creating a residents' association, too. I look forward to seeing you-and hopefully many other like-minded folks-both at Monday's council meeting and the Millbrook meeting this Wednesday at 7.
April Fox Regan January 23, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Thanks, guys. See you tomorrow!
BBH January 23, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Really?? Now we are under the assumption that any builder/project manager at Wawa would not evaluate the safety involved with this project. Hatboro is a great town with lots of history, but to suggest the Old Mill Inn as a tourist center is absolutely ridiculous!! Hatboro is just not a tourist attraction-sorry:( For the borough to purchase these buildings and then attempt to refurbish them into something is a huge financial burden especially when a good company is looking to do that for them. Wawa has developed buildings to the style of communities and I'm sure they will do that on this project.
Kathy Leaycraft January 23, 2012 at 08:01 PM
BB57, it may not be Independence Hall, but it certainly is OLDER than it! The Old Mill was built in 1720. George Washington used this Mill in 1777 to grind grain for his troops!. It became a dining hall in 1918, with many famous visitors. Clearly you don't give a hoot about history - but that is what make Hatboro special. That is our "hook." We can't attract solid residents and retailers without an interesting and pleasing atmosphere. It's a ripple effect, and the ripple is headed downhill. Hatboro used to be a bustling town but it's turning into a strip mall. As for your experience, I would guess that making money -vs- making something that fits the location and is a good quality and pleasing to the eye is how you rate your success. The builder of Victorian Village also has over 27 years of experience, and look what he did! Argh!
who dat January 25, 2012 at 03:12 AM
Build the WaWa and help this town recover. Enough with the insanity. Look at the polls.
who dat January 25, 2012 at 03:00 PM
You rest my case my friend. "Warminster Joe." Which part? Lacey Park, Bucks Landing, the Raceway? Why not "Hatboro Joe"?
who dat January 25, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Mr. Warminster Joe. My response was simply meant to make a point about inferring so much about someone simply because of a moniker. I was born and raised in Hatboro. I picked up "who dat" during 12 years of military service and govt. work in the deep south where the term was common place among ordinary folks. And I am sure there are a lot of good folks from "North Philly" that are probably offended by your comments. And perhaps a few by my sarcasm about Warminster. But you immediately inferred something negative about me based on two unoffensive words, "who dat." Judge on my friend.
who dat January 25, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Nice move "Warminster Joe." Post immature, assumptive and insulting things about me and others. Then take a shot at anyone from "north philly," realize you probably just offended a lot of people and made you and your cause look bad, then go back and delete all the posts. I am catching on to how this works. Thanks for the lesson.
April Fox Regan January 25, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Does anyone else have a copy of the Hatboro history book that the Millbrook Society put out a few years back? I was just looking through it last night and realized that if a few powerful people and companies with money had not been given free-reign from the 1920's through the 60's, our town might be filled with a collection of Colonial Period gems and Victorian Painted Ladies (like a tiny Cape May mixed with the most historic parts of downtown and Buck's County). It made me really sad. I think always giving way to entities making money here (arguably at the town's expense) became the way our leaders thought things had to be done. Maybe our town council still feels this way. Just a thought. (I think the Hardware Store has some of those books for sale.)
who dat January 25, 2012 at 04:32 PM
April. I have seen those books at the Library and Borough Hall. A lot of nice pictures. And while you have a point, the same can be said of nearly every Borough and small town in Pennsylvania as well as most of the country. And not everyone wants to live like it is 1920.
MJG January 25, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Living in the past is dangerous and trying to bring the past to the present is absurd. It is impossible to stop change but it is possible to guide it. I trust our elected officials will guide the town to a more secure economic future while remembering and honoring our past.
Tori January 25, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Aren't you being a little hypocritical? You are talking about being offensive yet you managed to insult people from Lacey Park, Bucks Landing, and the Raceway.
MJG January 25, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Now you’ve gone and done it, who dat. You woke up the section 8’ers.
who dat January 25, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Tori. It was done as a deliberate response based on the posted comments directed at me and my name and assumptions about where I was from, although the poster then went and deleted his comments leaving only mine. You are absolutely right though. Even though I did it to make a point about broad assumptions, my tick-for-tock response in similar fashion was equally immature. While deliberate, it doesn't make it fair and no less offensive....and yes, hypocritical. That was the point. And my parents now live in a small cape in the Raceway and my wife was living in the park when we met as teenagers (she was referred to as a "parker" when we were growing up). Good people can come from anywhere, just as bad people can come from anywhere. Assumptions are unfair and immature.
who dat January 25, 2012 at 06:05 PM
And I chimed in to balance the debate a bit. Seemed like a friendly enough group commenting. I am knew to this stuff. I guess it may only be friendly if you don't disagree with anyone or you don't have a name like "who dat." Man, I am changing my name to something else and I am now against this devilish WaWa. It appears obvious if they build it, neighbors will turn on neighbors, brothers will turn on brothers, and it will be 1861 again. Moreland Avenue will become the new Mason-Dixon Line. I prefer the empty buildings and no tax revenue or new jobs over the bloodshed this WaWa will cause.
April Fox Regan January 25, 2012 at 08:17 PM
I have no desire to turn back the clock on our town and I certainly want jobs and economic vitality as much as anyone in Hatboro. Personally, I was trying to look at the past to learn how my hometown works. While not attacking any specific current elected officials (some of whom must surely have our town's best interest at heart), I do think it's valid that our residents have not always been kept up to speed on things. Has this been intentional? The owner of Spa Escape (the business that rents the Mill House) told me today that she has been trying for some time to buy that building from TD Bank (owner of Mill and Mill House). Her goal was to keep the 300-year-old building historically preserved AND open for business. When the bank would not respond to her offers, she contacted Boro Hall in December for help and was told by an (unnamed) town official IN DECEMBER that Wawa was going to buy the property and it was a done deal. I also heard first-hand from members of our Historical Society that the Super Wawa was a done deal that had been going on behind the scenes for over a year. Maybe not everyone in our town's political system believes in transparency.
April Fox Regan January 25, 2012 at 08:19 PM
And, hey guys, we all get caught up in the passion of the moment in this forum and sometimes say things we wouldn't say face-to-face to someone. I'm sure we all love our town, and beneath our different perspectives have common goals. :)
Theresa Katalinas (Editor) January 25, 2012 at 08:52 PM
April, Regardless if the hearsay you're referring to is accurate, the bottom line is that the sale of the Old Mill, Spa Escape, etc. is a real estate transaction. Hatboro council, Main Street Millbrook Society and any other organization you can think of has NOTHING to do with real estate sales. Would you want the council poking its nose into the sale of your home, for instance? While I'm sure it's possible that Wawa had an agreement of sorts in December, if not sooner with TD Bank, it's very common for developers to have an agreement with sellers on the condition that development plans advance. That protects them so they're not stuck with land when land developments are turned down, etc.
R. Johnson January 31, 2012 at 02:19 PM
From what I'm seeing & hearing April, the lack of transparency was the political system in place last year with the old council that was well known for that & having their own agenda. Where were you then? If this is true & it seems like you have good information & it's been going on for over a year, that just shows that to be indeed true. This unknown town official was probably doing their bidding & would be reporting back to them. Lets find out who this "town official" is & maybe we can get to the bottom of all this. At least the new council seems to want to get the public involved which is the fair way of doing things.
falcon June 10, 2012 at 11:00 PM
I dont think we should allow anymore ecological contamination into the creek that flows through that area. Its the only wildlife area however small Hatboro has left to offer the community...would be a shame to have it destroyed by uncaring and disrespectful people.
Karen Marie Romero November 22, 2012 at 03:32 AM
Oh could it be that you think you are smarter than the rest of us. Only thing is...smart people accept responsibility and accountability for their errors. They also apologize to those they have knowingly harmed!


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