By Monica Pryts/Staff Writer
SLIPPERY ROCK —
The Slippery Rock Sheetz is planning to relocate, but the proposed site is just up the street from the current gas station and store.
"There's not a lot to tell you," Monica Jones, the company's public relations manager, said of the preliminary plans. "It's a rebuild."
Sheetz, based in Altoona, is still working through the final permitting process for the property, which encompasses about a half dozen lots at the corner of North Main and Franklin streets, Slippery Rock Mayor Ken Harris said.
The current gas station and store at 304 S. Main St. was built in 1981 and renovated in 1989, but there is no more room to add needed upgrades to the building, Jones said.
"The old store is just simply that. It's old," Jones said. "It's physically hard to get everything in there."
The existing Sheetz is about 4,500 square feet and the new one will measure nearly 7,000 square feet.
"It's easier to completely rebuild," she said.
Sheetz expects to break ground in the spring and construction should take about three months, weather permitting.
Slippery Rock borough council has set a public hearing for their Aug. 7 meeting, where they'll review what's expected to be the final version of Sheetz's land development plan, Harris said.
The borough's zoning hearing board and planning commission have OK'd the plan, which will come before council for final approval. Zoning variances involving signs and lights have already been granted, he said.
Council previously agreed to consolidate the lots, now owned by Sheetz, at the northeast corner of North Main into one parcel.
Some of those lots are vacant while others have structures that will be demolished, like the former Pregnancy Center, and Sheetz has completed traffic studies for the busy intersection, Harris said.
"I think it will challenge some traffic patterns with that major intersection in town," he said.
But council has agreed that Sheetz has no room to grow at its current location and Harris said he's excited to see a more modern gas station in the borough.
The original Sheetz will stay open until the new site is ready; plans for what will happen to the South Main Street property have yet to be determined, Jones said.
Company officials are glad they can keep Sheetz in the downtown area, close to Slippery Rock University and pedestrian-friendly spots that have been revitalized by volunteers in recent months.
"Hopefully we'll be part of those good changes," she said.
Published July 7, 2012 in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201A Erie St., Grove City.