When it comes to convenience stores, Wawa is a name that is big in southern NJ and Pennsylvania, but not so much in central and northern parts of the state.
That's not to say that longtime Woodbridge residents are unfamiliar with Wawa. One store that opened in the 1990s on Amboy Ave. closed a decade ago for a lack of business. That store was since remodeled into a breakfast and lunch type diner, which has also closed.
But Wawa hasn't given up on Woodbridge. The Pennsylvania-based store will be building two new stores in the township, according to township officials.
One will be located at the site of the old Dennis Adams Dodge dealership on King Georges Road, across from Syms near Route 9. The other site will be on Route 1 in Avenel, where the Gem Motel and a closed Art Deco-style diner are currently housed.
Both locations won't just contain just convenience stores. In addition to a 5,547 sq. ft. Wawa store and gasoline station, the King Georges Road site will also include a new supermarket. Aldi's, a discount supermarket chain, will be building a 17,888 sq. ft. store on the combined 3.73 acre site.
The Avenel Wawa complex will include a 4,188 sq. ft. convenience store and a gas station with six islands.
Wawa executives appeared with Mayor John McCormac near the old Gem Motel Tuesday to announce the building plans.
"These projects will jump-start redevelopment in previously named redevelopment zones on the Route 1/9 corridor and will bring substantial tax ratables to the Township, not to mention that long-standing abandoned and under utilized buildings will be demolished to make way for two new Wawa retail convenience centers and fueling stations and an Aldi supermarket," said McCormac in a statement.
The mayor said he believed that 200 full-time jobs would be generated with the opening of the supermarket and convenience stores. He did not say when he anticipated the projects would be completed.