Upper Moreland OKs Wawa at Bally’s Site

The board of commissioners approved final land development plans for a ‘super Wawa’ where the now-defunct gym stands.

It’s official. Upper Moreland is getting a “Super Wawa.”

Earlier this week, the Upper Moreland Board of Commissioners OK’d plans submitted by Provco Goodman Jenkintown, LP, to build a 5,500-square-foot Wawa with gas pumps and 10,000 square feet of additional yet-to-be determined retail space at the former Bally’s gym site near the corner of Routes 611 and 263.

The motion passed 5-2 with commissioners Lisa Romaniello and Kevin Spearing casting “no” votes. 

Upper Moreland Township Manager David Dodies said Provco Goodman showed interest in the vacant site in the second half of 2012.

The zoning near the Bally’s site was modified to allow for the then-proposed Wawa and its gas pumps. Upper Moreland Director of Code Enforcement Paul Purtell said the township passed an ordinance in March that created a “transit overlay district” on top of the current "Town Center-1" zoning.

“It was ‘town center’ and still is,” Purtell said.  “The developer requested [that the township] create an overlay district, but that does not change the underlying zoning. And the overlay could be applied to other areas downtown.”

 The building is rougly 30 years old and Purtell said — though he's not sure — that the site could have been home to a gas station prior to that. 

Provco Goodman is also looking to build a Wawa with gas pumps at a vacant parcel in Abington — about 3 miles south on Old York Road, and Abington similarly modified its zoning code. The project was recently OK’d by Abington’s Planning Commission and its code enforcement committee.

See that story here.

Final land development plans for the Abington Wawa will go before the full board next Thursday.

Cinderabi June 06, 2013 at 10:43 AM
Case closed.
DW June 06, 2013 at 03:07 PM
Yay. Knock that building down ASAP.
Pete June 06, 2013 at 06:09 PM
yea make some jobs !!
Willy Gio June 07, 2013 at 07:18 PM
If only the "Willow Grove re-development" could be voted and started on so efficiently. Only been working on that for about 20 years now. Interesting.
Marg G. June 08, 2013 at 02:56 AM
How will having a WaWa on the Bally's site beautify downtown Willow Grove?
pat polichetti June 09, 2013 at 01:48 PM
Good! Build it! Hatboro's loss is Upper Moreland's gain. A Wawa on the site will bring business, and a few jobs. I guess the naysayers would rather have an ugly empty building or vacant lot. I'll be happy when it's done. Case closed!
save willow grove June 09, 2013 at 05:49 PM
save willow grove June 09, 2013 at 05:50 PM
nothing says tourist attraction like a super wawa
Judy Washburn June 09, 2013 at 05:55 PM
save willow grove- so funny. :D I can't wait to see all the u-turns that will happen from people trying to leave Wawa. I can only imagine everyone exiting will have to go right.
Junior72 June 09, 2013 at 08:00 PM
I'm all for a bigger Wawa, I refuse to use the old one on Moreland anymore (across from KMart)..dangerous cramped parking lot, and exiting it can bring on a panic attack times. BUT the location of the abandoned Ballys? I'm on the fence about this planned location..It's right where Route 263 York splits to a one way northbound strip. Imagine the traffic on Easton southbound making reckless left turns into this new Wawa - or the many that cut through Manhattan Bagel to access 263...they sure will do it more to access Wawa. Heck this area is already congested especially at rush hour. If this does happen, hopefully they will create an entrance in the rear along the new Memorial Road to make entering/exiting easier.
save willow grove June 10, 2013 at 01:04 AM
now i can eat my hoagie on the $200,000 patio by the traffic light & acess septa
Judy Washburn June 10, 2013 at 01:06 PM
save willow grove, only if you pull a Uy or drive in a HUGE circle or walk to it. Junior72 is right, the traffice problems this is going to cause shouldbe very interesting. Maybe we can all sit on the $200,000. patio and watch the mayhem? I'll spring for Wawa coffee.
UM Nick June 10, 2013 at 04:42 PM
Ok, have ANY of you seen the plans??? Most likely not based on the comments about traffic. Traffic can not get any worse in that area due to it already being bumper to bumper for most of the day! Also I would much rather see a Wawa than the empty eyesore that is there now. As for beuatifying downtown WG, again if you saw the plans the building and landscaping will make that area look great. I want to thank commissioners Spearing and Romaniello for voting no on this project, it shows just where they are with redevelopment . . . NO WHERE!! Neither of them wants anything to be done unless it meets their disjointed view of Willow Grove!
Roger Wolfman July 02, 2013 at 11:41 AM
I know the reason some are opposed to the Wawa because it caused a modification of the town center zoning that many sought so hard and long to get passed. I also know that the Civil War was fought for economic reasons and not over slavery. Bull. It WAS over slavery. Could opposition to Wawa really be opposition to a particular developer? Remember we call them developers because they…develop. Look at the photo on the masthead of this Patch. That is the town center. If you want a quaint town center, make it on Davisville Road. 611 is a 4 lane highway. Pedestrian crossing of 611 is a life threatening event. Look at the court house and Burger King. It looks good compared to the old business buildings with old apartments above them. The Wawa with a connection to Memorial Park and then to the train station will be a welcome addition to Willow Grove. I’ll bet a hoagie on it.
pat polichetti July 02, 2013 at 01:26 PM
Quit talking and start building. Wawa will be nicer to look at but more importantly, will bring some revenue. Or would the two idiot commissioners who voted "no" rather look at the abandoned building? Again, Hatboro was stupid in letting the deal go, and their loss is Upper Moreland's gain. BUILD IT and they will come!
UM Nick July 08, 2013 at 10:16 AM
Pat, It is going to be built. The demolition should begin by the end of July if not sooner!!


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