This article is in follow-up to our story last week regarding the proposed Wawa at the Moore Chevrolet location in Conshohocken. As I mention in the article, I was going to email Wawa and ask a few questions to clarify some points made in a brochure they were handing out at their Plymouth location. Here are the questions, in bold, and the responses.
1. Are the 35 new jobs mentioned in the brochure just the current employees moving from the Plymouth Township store to a Conshohocken store? How many current employees are there in Plymouth? What is the plan, if there is one, for closing the Plymouth store?
Most, if not all, of these will be brand new jobs for the region – in addition to community and tax contributions to the region. Our newer stores employ more people than our smaller, legacy sores. There are no current plans to close any existing Wawa stores with the construction of this new facility in the Borough.
2. Can you provide the donations provided to local organizations (product or cash) over the past five years? The zip codes I am interested in are 19428, 19462 and 19444.
Community outreach and charitable support is a critical part of every new store we build and in every community we serve. Wawa’s areas of community giving are centered on health (with a focus on children), fighting hunger, and supporting the efforts of our “everyday heroes” including emergency responders, and the military through the USO. We are proud to contribute more than $6 million each year to charitable causes.
In our marketplace, we are one of the largest supporters of JDRF; local food banks through Check Out Hunger, Race for the Cure, Children’s Hospitals, and the American Red Cross through blood drives and contributions. All of these services have impacted the lives of residents and community members, including residents of Conshohocken. When you look at the statistics, many families throughout our communities, including Conshohocken are impacted by diabetes, cancer, or in need of disaster relief or blood services, and receive services from the American Red Cross, Children’s Hospital, or the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation directly. We have committed millions of dollars and thousands of hours through the years to those organizations to provide important services to all of our communities.
At the neighborhood level, we get involved in important local causes and events in our communities. Our associates are our greatest resource in helping to address local needs. On the neighborhood level you’ll find our people and often many of our donated products at boy scouts events, little leagues, fun runs, church fairs, fund-raisers and street fairs. During 2011 and 2012, our neighboring stores in Conshohocken have donated thousands of products and gift cards for raffles to local organizations including: the Conshohocken Fire Company, Plymouth Elementary School, Boy Scout troops, local churches, local branches of the American Cancer Society to name a few. In addition we are a sponsor of the local soap box derby.
In our markets, we are proud of the fact that we have build solid, long-lasting relationships with many charities – as noted above, and in some cases, our support has enabled them to “build homes”. Examples include our partnership with the Northern Home for Children, which is located on nearby Ridge Avenue, receives products and support from the store, in addition to monetary contributions from Wawa. This June, we will celebrate the ground breaking for a new wing to expand their services further, of which Wawa is a lead contributor.
3. Can you provide me the local leaders that Michael Cooley has approached for private discussion and those he has met with, with dates?
Mr. Cooley has met and spoken with many elected officials and community members since the beginning of this particular project.
4. Is there a Ridge Avenue property being looked at as a back-up location?
There is no back-up location on Ridge Avenue.
So what is “news” from these answers? One of the bigger rumors for since this whole thing began back in 2010 was that there was a back-up location on Ridge. Wawa says this is not true.
The other piece of news is that there is no plan to close the Plymouth store, which is very close to the proposed location, if and when the new store were to open.
One question, that Wawa did not answer in detail, was who the developer, Michael Cooley, has met with. I am going to email elected and other Borough officials to ask if they have had private meetings and what was discussed.
I also received an email last week from Tim Moore, former owner of Moore Chevrolet. I had emailed him right around the new year to ask if Wawa had an option on their property that was set to expire at the start of 2012. Here is his response:
There was never any “buy option” to die at the end of 2011, quite the contrary, it was in February March that they became more committed than ever. It just seems these developers are very laid back people and are confident in their ability and methodical in their approach.
Moore also asked that I publish the names of the people behind the Conshohocken Revitalization Alliance, which I plan to do when I get that information. He also stressed that this should be a process determined by Conshohocken and not outside influences.
More to come., including the statement of the Conshohocken Revitalization Alliance.