Is Wawa Still Coming to MoCo?
We have received this question more than any other in the last few months.
Back in May of 2019, we broke the news that Wawa’s first MoCo location would be opened in Gaithersburg at the old Becraft Antiques location on 355 across from Gaithersburg High School (405 S Frederick Ave).
You may be wondering: why hasn’t construction begun on the site?
In October of 2019, the Gaithersburg City Council approved the schematic development plan (SDP) for Wawa’s 5,000+ square foot site, which in theory would’ve paved the way for construction to begin. However, per Dan Schere of Bethesda Beat, the project soon hit a roadblock.
Public opposition to the proposed site led to a group of 14 community members filing an administrative appeal in the Montgomery County Circuit Court. This stalled the development of the site indefinitely.
The opponents of the Wawa site have stated that the Wawa site does not align with MoCo’s master plan and would generate traffic and noise annoyances for residents in the surrounding areas.
Their initial appeal kicked off a lengthy period of litigation and appeals processes. The Montgomery Circuit Court denied the initial appeal, but as of this September, the opponents’ appeal has made it to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. No hearing date had been set as of last month.
The ongoing litigation has found us in November of 2020 with no advancement on the construction of the site.
Wawa had initially planned on opening the location by the end of 2020, but that timeline is clearly no longer plausible. Supporters of the site will need to wait out the litigation to see if the site’s construction will be greenlit.