Tysons, VA

Wawa is announcing a sweepstakes for a new Tesla at the new Vienna location (465 Maple Avenue).

The planned giveaway is part of a pivot towards electrical charging. The Vienna location opted for Tesla chargers instead of traditional fuel pumps.

“As a follow up to the Wawa Store Opening in Vienna this past July, Wawa is launching a Tesla Model 3 Lease Sweepstakes giveaway!” the company announced in a press release. “The event is held during National Drive Electric Week to celebrate the retailer’s 500,000th electric vehicle customer to date.”

The event was scheduled to start at 11 a.m. People can enter the sweepstakes through an online form released after the event.

“Wawa selected the Vienna, Virginia store as a backdrop to announce this sweepstakes as it’s the first store in company history to open with electric vehicle charging in lieu of fossil fueling, which demonstrates the company’s commitment to innovation, sustainability and continued desire to meet the needs of customers,” Wawa said.

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Background Checks on Gun Sales — “A Virginia judge has ruled that most of the state’s new law requiring background checks on all gun sales does not violate constitutional rights, except for a wrinkle that effectively bans people between the ages of 18 and 21 from buying handguns.” [Inside NoVa]

ICYMI: Vienna Wawa Opens Today — “Wawa is encouraging people to watch a celebratory video and take part in an online contest for limited-edition Vienna Wawa t-shirts.” [Tysons Reporter]

No High School Football This Fall — “Football will be either played in the winter or spring or not at all, based on which of three plans the Virginia High School League’s executive committee approves July 27 for the 2020-21 high school sports season. The July 27th meeting convenes at 9 a.m.” [Inside NoVa]

Vienna Event — “A panel held by Town Manager Mercury Payton Tuesday night started a conversation on the Black experience in Vienna. Several Town of Vienna workers and residents who are Black participated in the discussion.” [Vienna Patch]

Photo courtesy Jeremiah Mosteller

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Wawa plans to open its first store in the Town of Vienna next Thursday (July 16).

The store at 465 Maple Avenue W. used to house a Coldwell Banker branch. Now, the building has been retrofitted — the first time ever for Wawa, according to a press release.

To commemorate the opening, a ribbon cutting will happen with social distancing outside the store on the morning of its opening. Wawa is encouraging people to watch a celebratory video and take part in an online contest for limited-edition Vienna Wawa t-shirts.

The store will open at 8 a.m. on Thursday, according to the press release.

Roughly 40 employees will work at the 6,290-square-foot store, which will offer Tesla charging stations. People who don’t want to venture outside for hoagies can get food and drinks delivered from the store via DoorDash and Uber Eats.

The press release detailed Wawa’s COVID-19 measures to reduce the risk of spreading the virus:

Wawa made several key changes to ensure it has the safest, most convenient store environment. The changes include launch of The Wawa Clean Force, a dedicated and trained sanitizing swat team working at each store every day with one job: keeping Wawa stores clean, sanitized and safe. Additional protections and policies include masks and gloves for all associates; clear plastic safety guards at check out and food-service counters; even more frequent hand washing standards; and wellness temperature checks for associates before each shift. For customers, social distancing with friendly visual markers and more hand-sanitizer stations have been added in common areas.

Wawa also plans to launch an initiative that will donate $1,000 from the Vienna store’s first week of sales to the Capital Area Food Bank and donate $1,000 each and hoagies to charities picked by Vienna’s police and fire departments and Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, the press release said.

Additionally, people will be able to make donations to support military personnel and their families until Sunday, July 19, at any Wawa store, the press release said.

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When Wawa comes to the Town of Vienna later this year, people might be able to get wine and beer.

A pending license indicates that the convenience store company is seeking “wine and beer off premises” for its upcoming location at 465 W. Maple Avenue.

The 6,200-square-foot convenience store plans to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will be the first location to feature a partnership with Tesla — meaning people will be able to use eight charging stations for electric cars. The store is hoping to open this spring along Maple Avenue.

While the Vienna location is boasting a lot of “firsts” for Wawa, the beer sales are nothing new. According to news reports, Wawa jumped into the beer sales market several years ago.

Photo via David Levy and Associates 

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After Wawa chopped down trees it wasn’t supposed to, Town of Vienna officials want to create a plan to prevent anything similar happening again.

Town Manager Mercury Payton told the Vienna Town Council on Monday (Dec. 9) that a committee is working “to identify more efficient communication with residents about construction incidents.”

The town announced last month that Wawa’s actions were a result of “misunderstanding and human error.” The loss of the trees sparked an uproar among locals — what Councilmember Steve Potter called an “extremely emotional” incident at the Monday meeting.

Payton apologized to both the residents who live behind the Wawa site and all of the residents in the town.

“I feel awful about the fact that the town played a role in initiating the action that Wawa took in removing the trees,” Payton said.

Payton told the councilmembers that the town’s urban arborist told Wawa about the health of the trees that Wawa eventually cut — even though they were not included in the approved site plan.

“It is in my view that if the town urban arborist had not brought the matter up to Wawa, Wawa would not have brought the trees down,” Payton said. “They would have stuck to the site plan and the issue would not have occurred.”

Payton said that the arborist should have advised Wawa that a site plan change was necessary, but that, ultimately, the site plan is Wawa’s responsibility.

Payton later said the arborist did not do anything incorrectly when pressed by Councilmember Pasha Majdi about the roles and responsibilities of the arborist.

“I don’t think the best way to run this town is to say that someone should have done something that they are not tasked with doing and it’s not required and it’s not explicated to that staffer,” Majdi said.

“From our perspective, we try to go above and beyond,” Payton responded.

Currently, the town’s departments each manage their own communication with residents about projects, Payton said. The internal review is meant to identify how the departments can follow a unified communication plan.

Several councilmembers expressed support for the internal review, including Councilmember Douglas Noble, who requested to see the outcome of the committee’s findings and recommendations.

“I always like to see what the problem is first… and then work forward,” Noble said.

“The trees are dead. They aren’t alive,” Potter said. “There are a lot of trees that this could happen to again.”

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(Updated at 5:30 p.m.) The Town of Vienna says that directions from the town’s arborist led to Wawa chopping down trees last week, which sparked an uproar among locals.

The town said in a press release today (Nov. 26) that it is working with Wawa to reach out to neighbors behind the construction site (465 Maple Avenue W.) “to address impacts resulting from last week’s removal of trees.”

The town added that Wawa has offered to plant 12-15 new trees in the spring to replace the three silver maple trees that were removed, which included one that was roughly 60 years old.

The town said last week that the tree removal “was due to an onsite misunderstanding and human error.” In the press release today, Vienna officials say that Wawa followed the direction of the town’s urban arborist.

More from the press release:

In a preconstruction meeting a few weeks ago, the Town’s arborist advised that, in his professional assessment, the trees on the Town’s property between Wawa and the neighbors’ property would be negatively impacted by construction activity and would almost certainly die within the next three years. He commented that the trees, which already showed signs of rot, decay, and disease, would need to be removed now or in the future.

“Both parties can accept some responsibility for removal of the unapproved trees,” says Town Manager Mercury Payton, “and we’re all very sorry for the impact this is having on Wawa’s neighbors. I am certain that Wawa would not have removed those trees had it not been recommended by our urban arborist. I wish that he also had offered to assist Wawa with revising and resubmitting the site plan.”

“We appreciate that the Town of Vienna recognizes our commitment to rectifying this situation and our resolve to work together to support the neighbors,” says Lori Bruce, public relations manager for Wawa. “We remain committed to going above and beyond to be a good neighbor and a strong partner to this community.”

The Town of Vienna is committed to sustainability as well as to being responsive to citizens. Vienna has been a Tree City USA for 17 years and has a very active, Council-appointed Conservation and Sustainability Commission. In addition, the Town’s recently renovated community center has achieved gold-level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) while the planned new police station is being designed to achieve LEED silver level.

In recent days, the town and Wawa received backlash from residents who told ABC7 that they were upset that Wawa cut down the trees that were not on the company’s property.

“While this was an unfortunate misunderstanding as we were operating with the guidance of the municipal arborist, right now we are 100% focused on rectifying the situation,” Wawa said in a statement to ABC7.  “This includes going above and beyond to address this and working hand in hand with the town and the neighbors to ultimately serve as an enhancement to the community.”

“It will take five years for the trees to mature to create a buffer. Until then there is no barrier to the construction and subsequent traffic of a 24/7 store. Our backyard privacy is gone,” Ingrida Lusis, a Vienna resident whose house was next to the trees, according to ABC7, posted on Facebook.

The town will not impost a fine on Wawa, Lynne Coan, a spokesperson for the town, told Tysons Reporter.

“I’m not sure about who will be responsible for [new] trees,” Coan said, “I believe the Wawa representative and neighbors will work that out when they meet later this week.”

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The Town of Vienna says that a dozen new trees will replace the ones Wawa removed — but wasn’t supposed to — for its upcoming Maple Avenue spot.

A Town of Vienna Facebook post today (Friday) said that Wawa mistakenly removed three trees and “several other small and dead ones” from town-owned property adjacent to the site (245 Maple Avenue W.) yesterday.

“The tree removal was due to an onsite misunderstanding and human error,” the post said.

Within the next few weeks, Wawa plans to add 12 new trees in the alley and property “as close to six-inch caliper trees as possible,” the post said.

The town noted that representatives from Wawa “acknowledged that their action was not in compliance with the approved site plan.”

Image via David Levy & Associates

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Wawa hosted a celebration in Vienna this morning (Sept. 24) to mark the company’s new location opening in April.

Dozens of people showed up to the event, which featured a virtual reality tour of the upcoming location, food and drink samples and speeches from and other local politicians. 

At the event, a company spokesperson said that the company is planning a grand opening party on April 10 at 465 W. Maple Avenue. The 6,200-square-foot convenience store plans to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This will be the first location that features a partnership with Tesla, John Poplawski, Wawa’s director of site acquisition and development, said. Instead of a traditional gas station, the Vienna location will feature eight charging stations for electric cars.

“The Vienna store will be Wawa’s first retrofit store, and the first non-fuel store in Virginia in 20 years,” a press release said, “Wawa hopes to have 40 new stores in the Northern Virginia market over the next 15 years.”

The expansion plans will bring more than 2,000 new jobs to the Northern Virginia area, according to a company spokesperson at the event.

Del. Mark Keam (D-35th District) spoke at the Wawa event this morning and said that these new jobs will help draw young people to the city and boost economic development in the area.

“We are very excited to have you coming into town,” Mayor Laurie DiRocco addressed the crowd before the “coming soon” sign reveal. “We hope you’ll be a good neighbor.”

Within the last few months, Wawa instituted a catering option, spokesperson Alyson Mucha said, adding that many locations also offer freshly baked goods and customers can expect the same thing at the new locations in northern Virginia.

To continue Wawa’s philanthropic work across the country, the company pledged at the event $30,000 to support the Law Enforcement Torch Run in Northern Virginia, which raises funds and awareness for the Special Olympics.

Wawa executives at the event said they hope the new location in Vienna becomes a gathering space for the community.

“This is a space that was looking to be revitalized,” Poplawski said. “This is an opportunity to bring everything Wawa offers to the Town of Vienna.”

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The new Wawa in Vienna may not be a gas station, but it will have a bank of electric car chargers.

The Wawa will be located at 465 Maple Ave W, formerly a Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage that’s sat vacant for over a year.

The store will include eight 250 kilowatt Tesla charging posts and two 430 kilowatt Tesla charging cabinets, according to permits filed with Fairfax County.

The chargers will be the first Tesla chargers in Vienna. There are currently three in Tysons with a fourth listed as opening somewhere near the Greensboro Metro station sometime in 2019.

Wawa also received permits for new signage around the building.

The new location is part of a new series of Wawas throughout the D.C. area, including locations in Columbia Heights, Tenlytown and Adams Morgan.

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After some uncertainty about when or where the new Wawa in Vienna would arrive, plans have finally been submitted to Vienna’s Board of Architectural Review.

The new plans show the new Wawa will be located at 465 Maple Ave W.

The Wawa will be constructed on a property that was formerly a Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage location and has been vacant for over a year. The location is across the street from the controversial mixed-use development approved in October at the Vienna Wolf Trap Hotel.

The Board will review the plans at today’s (Friday) work session, which started at 8 a.m.

The new Vienna location is part of a regional expansion for Wawa, which has previously said that it plans to add 30-50 stores in the Washington, D.C. area.

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