Loudoun County will soon have its first Wawa convenience store in Sterling.
Vice-Chairman of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Shawn Williams (R-Broad Run) was unable to provide specific details, but is expecting the application to come before the board soon.
“I think their application is going to be coming to us some time this spring and I know they are eager to get going,” Williams said.
Wawa, headquartered in Wawa, Pa., has largely focused its efforts in the Mid-Atlantic region, but since it has grown in popularity, locations have been popping up in Florida and other states.
The proposed site, at the corner of Old Ox and Oak Grove roads, is west of the Loudoun and Fairfax County border and one Fairfax town is not happy about its location.
In statements made in a Washington Business Journal article published April 1, the Town of Herndon expressed its disapproval of the site.
In the article, Town of Herndon officials expressed that “Herndon 'generally welcomes a Wawa' in the vicinity of the town, but only if the store is incorporated into a larger planned development. Herndon does not want a stand-alone building suggestive of 'piecemeal strip development.'”
“Based on what they told the Washington Business Journal, I think they would have liked to see a larger planned development go there and so would I, but it is just not feasible right now,” Williams said. “If we were to wait for that we could be waiting for the next 30 years for that to come.”
While Herndon may not be happy with the decision to locate, Williams said he will be supporting the business throughout the process.
“I am going to help Wawa through the process, because I think it is a good operation and I have reviewed their plan and what they are going to do with that property and I think it is a good thing,” Williams said.
Williams was quick to point out that even though the convenience store is going into the space, there is still opportunity for mixed-use developments in other parts of the corridor.
“I don't have the ability to say we are not going to support a convenience store being there, because what I really want to be there is grade A office space,” Williams said. “As they come in you weigh each one on its merits and a larger mixed-use property is something that maybe the Town of Herndon envisions, but there is still ample opportunity for that in that corridor.
“We all want first class office space along the Route 606 and Route 28 corridors,” Williams said. “You can look at the comprehensive plan and it is zoned to have the first class office space along that corridor, when the market is there.”