Reports of Sheetz expanding to the city of Delaware have been well-received in the community since those plans were first approved by the Delaware Planning and Zoning Commission earlier this month. Now, those plans have officially been approved as Delaware City Council signed off Monday on the Combined Preliminary and Final Development Plan.
The Sheetz location will be constructed on approximately 4.6 acres at 700 Sunbury Road. The site currently contains two vacant buildings — the former Delaware Marine and a former tobacco shop.
Approved is a 6,007-square-foot building that will be constructed on the site, as well as four fueling islands that will include eight gas pumps. But while a fueling station is certainly an amenity of Sheetz, the company notes it is just one of many.
In addition to the fueling islands, the building will include a convenience store that offers the standard snack and drink options, as well as a restaurant that features a wide variety of made-to-order fast food options for indoor dining.
A drive-thru will be located on the south side of the building to serve customers who don’t wish to leave their vehicles.
“We get a little upset when we are referred to as a fuel station,” Frank Petruziello, president of development for Skilken Gold, told council during the first reading of the ordinance earlier this month. “Not because we don’t sell fuel, we certainly do. But so does Kroger and so does Walmart … We have come from the food industry, we have come from selling groceries, and have come from the restaurant business. We’ve added fuel as a service to our customers, just like Kroger and others have added fuel (stations).”
The site will have two access points; right-in, right-out-only access onto U.S. Route 36/state Route 37 on the northwest edge of the property, and a full access point on Mill Run Crossing.
City Manager Tom Homan expressed his confidence in Petruziello and the Skilken development team, given their past work with the city to construct the Kroger building in the Westfield Shopping Center on North Houk Road.
Petruziello said that despite the current circumstances related to COVID-19, Skilken “fully intends to move forward” with the project. “We have a lease with Sheetz to build this project and a firm contract,” Petruziello said. “We are not fishing, we are clearly moving forward with this project.”
Vice Mayor Kent Shafer said that just weeks ago, he was driving by the site and thought to himself how great it would be if “something nice” would be built there.
“Right now, we have a somewhat unsightly building that’s not providing any value to the citizens, tax dollars to the schools, or income tax to the city,” Shafer said. “This is a really nicely done project, and I think it is a big improvement to what we have there now.”
Six council members voted to approve the proposal; Councilman Chris Jones abstained due to a conflict of interest relating to proposed details of the site’s development.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the council meeting was conducted virtually via CISCO Webex and Facebook Live. Both scheduled meetings for April have been canceled.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.