Wawa Eyes Intersection of Bloomingdale and Lithia-Pinecrest
Business owners at the northwest intersection of Bloomingdale Avenue and Lithia-Pinecrest Road have been asked to vacate for their stores to make room for the construction of a Wawa gas station and convenience store.
One of Bloomingdale's oldest buildings and one of its newest buildings reportedly will be razed to make room for a new Wawa gas station and food market.
Store owners at the northwest corner of Bloomingdale Avenue and Lithia-Pinecrest Road said they have been told to vacate their stores to make way for a new Wawa.
Attempts to verify the reports with Wawa have been unsuccessful. However, Lee Ann Kennedy with the county's Planning and Growth Management Department verified that three properties at the intersection, including the building housing Consign Dezigns and Lucky Day Emporium, the newly constructed Verizon Wireless store and Outdoor Impressions, have been zoned for a Wawa.
That's also the understanding of Maria Gomes, owner of Consign Dezigns at 3322 Lithia-Pinecrest Rd., Valrico.
Her father, Elvin Hansen, has owned the property where she has her consignment shop since 1953. County records show the 3,372-square-foot building was first constructed in 1947.
"They made my father a fair offer and he's sold the property," said Gomes. "It was a situation where the developer wanted all three properties at the intersection."
The tenants of the building have been told to move out by March. Gomes said she has already stopped taking consignments and has begun marking down the furniture and accessories in her shop for a quick sale. She plans a clearance sale in February.
Lucky Day Emporium owners Brenda Martin, Ginger Waring and Angela Randall are likewise marking down merchandise and are planning a sidewalk sale in February.
Gomes said she doesn't plan to relocate her shop.
"We've been doing this for six years now," said Gomes. "We're looking at this as an opportunity to do something else."
The Lucky Day Emporium owners also have no plans to relocate. However, Tim Weir of Weir's Music has already identified a new location, Gomes said.
"It's been difficult," said Gomes. "I've had customers cry, and that speaks volumes about their loyalty. The support has been amazing."
Construction is currently under way on a Wawa food market and gas station on the south side of Bloomingdale Avenue, just east of U.S. 301.
The popular Pennsylvania-based convenience store offers fresh, built-to-order sandwiches and salads, soups, hot breakfast sandwiches, freshly brewed coffee along with gas services and ATM machines.
The chain has more than 595 convenience stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and, most recently, Florida.