A Sunoco is planned for a long-vacant convenience store along Route 30 in East Lampeter Township that is the former home of Lancaster County’s first Wawa.
The new Sunoco convenience store and gas station at 2501 Lincoln Highway East would take the 2.8-acre tract at the northeast corner of routes 30 and 896. The spot has been vacant since the closure in 2013 of Lancaster Gas & Food, an independent convenience store that operated at the site after Wawa left in 2010.
Last month, East Lampeter Township zoners signed off on several zoning changes need for the Sunoco plan, approvals that set the stage for a sale of the property by late May and a possible opening of the new store within a year, according to Dwight Wagner of U.S. Commercial Realty who is handling the real estate transaction for both the buyer and the seller.
Wagner, who represented the would-be buyer of the property at the March 10 zoning hearing board meeting, said that after Lancaster Gas & Food closed, zoning changes were made to the property which required the approval of several zoning variances for a convenience store to once again occupy the site. The variances were unanimously approved.
Wagner said the new Sunoco would be owned and operated by a group that has around 30 other Sunoco gas stations. Dallas-based Sunoco is a wholesale distributor of motor fuel which sells it to Sunoco-branded gas stations, almost all of which are owned and operated by third parties.
Following some minor renovations, Sunoco would use the existing, 5,500-square-foot former convenience store building. Wagner said the bigger project will be reinstalling the underground gas tanks and setting up the gas pumps which were removed several years after Lancaster Gas & Food closed.
Expected delays getting tank and pump equipment mean the new convenience store’s opening is likely a year away, Wagner said.
Before Wawa opened in 1996, the site had been the longtime home of Dutch Pines Motel. After Wawa sold the property in 2010 to the operator Lancaster Gas & Food, the property changed hands every couple years. The Sunoco operator, AR United LLC, will be the fifth owner since Wawa left. Other owners have included a restaurateur and someone who wanted to put in an automobile sales and service business. The last sale of the property was for $1.6 million.
“I’ve sold it three times in the last six years,” Wagner said. “So there’s always been a new buyer with a new idea for it, and none of them ever materialized – until this buyer.”