Bart Blatstein drops request for Delaware River waterfront Wawa with gas pumps - for now

Developer Bart Blatstein has withdrawn his application to build a Wawa convenience store with a fueling station at a site near the Delaware River in South Philadelphia.

Blatstein pulled the application last week for a variance from zoning rules barring gas pumps along central Philadelphia’s Delaware River waterfront to mull other options with nearby neighbors who oppose the plan, Carl Primavera, an attorney working on the proposal, said Monday.

“If something works out, that’s great,” Primavera said. “If not, and we come back with the same or a similar project, at least they know we took the time.”

Blatstein’s plan for a big Wawa with gas pumps at the Tasker Street and South Columbus Boulevard site — part of a large tract where a Foxwoods casino once had been planned — was overwhelmingly rejected by community members at a meeting of the Pennsport Civic Association neighborhood group in March.

Representatives of the Delaware River Waterfront Corp., a city-affiliated nonprofit that oversees waterfront development, and the Central Delaware Advocacy Group, a coalition of river-adjacent neighborhood associations, have also voiced opposition, saying the development would counter efforts to make the waterfront more inviting to walkers and cyclists.

Pennsport Civic Association president Patrick Fitzmaurice said that community members are happy the application has been withdrawn and that the group looks forward to working with the developer on a mutually agreeable plan.