Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Letter from Media Real Estate on the Super Wawa proposal

As I've commented before on this site, the borough is only going to get one chance to do the "Gateway" of Media right.  What is currently being considered is a proposal from Media Real Estate (MRE) and WAWA to build a super store at the old Media Inn site.

It's now becoming clear from the people I talk to, that Media borough council isn't interested in this store.  They've gone as far to say that they are happy to pick and choose what ever it is they want and will take as much time as they need.  That's not leadership.  Especially when a potential deal is on the table for 35 new jobs, $1million in contracting work and a steady tax revenue base for this borough.  I've spoken to some of the representation managing this project who've been open, understanding and in good faith, proactive in soliciting input on how to make this project work.  They too also understand the traffic patterns and realize that is a big issue for many.

I was able to obtain a letter from the property owners (MRE) that was sent out to the public explaining the decision for this store.  If you have questions or concerns, please comment.  I'll try to get your responses in front of the people who can address them.  You can also email borough manager, Jeff Smith jasmith@dca.net who can notify borough council of your thoughts.

This decision will most likely come down to the feedback from the community, so here's your chance to be apart of the process.

click to enlarge

34 comments:

  1. Which tenant would pay the most rent--guaranteed.
    That is the one critera Mr. Strine failed to mention.

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    1. Learn to spell, A. Criteria, not critera. Go back to school for penmanship, Mr. Strine.

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  2. Who owns the Starbucks location? I'd love to see that incorporated into the design, with access from the Wawa parking lot side and getting rid of the current 2 access points so that traffic/parking would be shared with new Wawa, turning the current inadequate lot into seating/outdoor green space. Seems like the chance to get it right and make the whole corner an integrated, beautiful welcome to Media.

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    1. It ain't MRE.

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    2. Obviously...that's why I asked who owns it. Anyone know?

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  3. again a dollar store behind the "cash for gold" store would look great. Maybe we can we get a check cashing place there too? The Raven already makes that area so beautiful.

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    1. Good post...

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    2. The Raven needs to exist. It keeps a lot of people down on the luck from being homeless. My cousin once lived there, and was quite satisfied.

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  4. Brendan ORiordanJuly 26, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    The gateway to Media should not be a massive gas station and convenience store. There are current zoning limitations and rights-of-way issues that, regardless of council's opinion, make this project almost impossible to build as designed.

    The focus on any development within Media Borough limits should be on walkable, pedestrian-focused, dense, mixed use development. I think a combination of ground floor retail, with 2nd and 3rd floor office space on 2-3 sides of a multi level parking garage would work well here. The people who complain about parking would have a garage. The people who loathe the strip mall/convenience store look would have ground level retail up the sidewalk. A retail/office/parking combination would generate commercial revenue, revenue for the garage owner, and tax revenue for the borough.

    For those who live in the Borough, you have to ask yourself: Do I want my town to look like every other car addicted suburb around this country or do I want my town to do something innovative which will make it stand out?

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    1. Why in the artist's rendering do they not show many cars backed up at all those gas pumps?

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    2. The same reason photogs brush out blemishes on super models. To make them look better. Your comment is thought provoking.

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  5. @ Brendan:

    What on earth are you talking about? A dressed up parking garage would be hideous. You act like Media shouldn't be like every other car addicted suburb on the one hand and then proceed to espouse a giant parking garage. Wawa is basically an upscale convenience store. And on top of that they would be bringing their A-game to this project; the renderings attest to that. Sure, if I could put anything I want there, I'd put a reconstruction of the original historical Media Hotel. But we need to balance practicality with good taste.

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    1. Brendan ORiordanJuly 27, 2012 at 6:14 PM

      @ Phillyboy:

      In reading over my original post, I can see how it seems contradictory. You are correct in that I am simultaneously calling for less dependence on automobiles AND the construction of a garage. The type of garage I suggest would on 2 or 3 sides be covered by office space; another option would be vertical gardens.

      If Media was a self-sustaining town, business income generated by Borough residents patronizing local businesses could keep the Borough economy chugging along. In reality as you know, our town's economy has to rely on income from visitors, commuting workers, tourists, etc. from other townships and states. Not all of those people have convenient access to the SEPTA train and/or trolley; therefore they must drive to Media. The more such people are drawn to the town, the more need there is for parking. There seems to be no traction for expaning public transit options throughout the area so for now these people must continue to commute via automobile. To accomodate these visitors and prevent congestion in the business core around State Street, I suggested a garage at this site, but again masked by offices. If not offices then some attractive vertical plant life. The ground floor would be retail that extends up the sidewalk line on Baltimore Pike. Thus we avoid a constant churn of traffic in and out of a gas station lot and we avoid a sea of asphalt.

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    2. You want garages in crowded places, go see a place called 'Philadelphia'. We have enough, including one planned but not yet constructed next to Dunkin'

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    3. Actually I'd be happy with no more garages and no more real estate devoted to accommodating cars in Media Borough, but nothing can be built around here without concessions to the automobile. I am trying to suggest a compromise between dense development (which is smart growth, without argument) and the fact that people need to drive from point A to B because most of our housing stock is spread out over vast areas not serviced by any convenient public transportation.

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  6. I saw the renderings, at least Wawa's making efforts to class it up. If this falls and we get a Walgreens, we'll look like any other suburban town - cookie cutter.

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  7. Place a super WaWa there, but please please...get rid of Motel Providence and The Raven. What a blight on our town.

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  8. Hey Anonymous, I feel you on that. The Motel Providence is hurtin'. I've been waiting for that place to go away for years and somehow it continues on defiantly. It's 1960's schlock; too old to be hip or comfortable and not old enough to be historic. Hopefully, the Hampton will hasten its demise. Somehow the Raven doesn't bother me as much. Although it's low scale it seems neat and tidy but the Motel Providence is so lame. It might work in Altoona or Johnstown but come on not here.

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  9. Allow the WaWa to build at that location, but don't allow them to sell gas. That would solve a lot of problems. Especially, since they say it is not about the money. Just the best use.

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    1. Brendan ORiordanJuly 28, 2012 at 3:20 PM

      I read somewhere once (yes, I know, it means nothing if I don't cite a source) that Wawa's business plans did not include building any new stores of the "non-super" variety. Wherever they are able, Wawa replaces an older Wawa with a Super Wawa. The abandoned non-super Wawa usually is taken over by Pantry Mart.

      I was surprised to hear Wawa wants to keep the existing Wawa at Monroe and Baltimore even if this new Super Wawa is built on 252/Baltimore.

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    2. Well let WaWa CHANGE their business plan. Not the residents of Media. It is still our town, and our zoning. Let them comply. WaWa would still make a mint without the gas station.

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    3. Based on the ridiculous prices at Lukoil next door, give me those gas pumps!

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    4. Steve haven't you heard about the poor quality of WaWa gas? If they buy from many different suppliers the additives are different and the mix can cause problems. Look it up. Top tier gas is the way to go unless you don't give a _____.

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    5. And right on time there's the smear. Will you continue by describing their coffee beans production as something out of 'Temple of Doom' lore?

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    6. Steve, did you get your Chick-fil-A on?

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  10. The name of the game here is convenience - some patrons of a Wawa would come in for gas but most would be passing by on their way to work and just wanting coffee, cash, sandwiches, sodas, donuts cigarettes etc. Personally I don't think this would be a destination store at all- at least during rush hour. Traffic would be more difficult though, because of the cars trying to get back out onto the highways- kindness at rush hour doesn't exist since everyone's in a hurry. For convenience I do think the Starbucks patrons should have access to the Wawa & vice versa. I think the key to this working is good access in and out of the store from 3 different points to avoid bottleneck.

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  11. How about a 7-11 store. They sell "Drive to Flordia" coffee. The best coffee ever.

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  12. MRE owns the property next to the Getty Station. Demolish this small strip mall and there will be more than enough area for WaWa's gas pumps. And the store. A lot better for traffic, too.

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    1. Anon 11:37 that is a great idea and because it is it will never happen.

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  13. Anon 11:37you are on to something. I have to agree.

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  14. I want my Super WaWa. Start your engines. Let the Demolition Derby begin. Contract Terry Bradshaw for the video. Dean Keyes towing.

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    1. Mickey, is that you?

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    2. Mickey Mouse? Mickey Mantle? Mickey Veron? Mickey McDonald? No that's Ronald McDonald. Who cares! It is me.

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  15. Mickey your so fine just take care of my vine.

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