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April 17, 2018

Sheetz proposes Bealeton convenience store

Photo/Lawrence Emerson
The store would stand on 2.3 acres, the only vacant corner at Routes 17 and 28.
File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Opened 12 years ago, this Sheetz store at Opal stands 3.3 miles north of the Bealeton site.
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Staff Journalist
Bealeton soon could get a Sheetz gas station and convenience store.

The Altoona, Pa.-based company wants to construct a 5,988-square-foot structure and 6 fuel pump islands on 2.3 acres at the northwest quadrant of Routes 17 and 28, according to documents filed with the Fauquier County planning office.

The project requires county site plan and administrative permit approval, which could take about two months.

Motorists would access the Bealeton Sheetz, with 46 parking spaces, from Route 28 and the proposed Grace Road off Route 17. The Mintbrook subdivision, with 575 homes planned, stands behind the vacant corner.

It would become the third gas station/convenience store at the busy Southern Fauquier intersection. 7-Elevens stand on two of the four corners. Papa John’s Pizza and Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen share the third corner.

Landowner Grace Lim declined to say whether her family’s company — Forest Gold LLC — would sell or lease the vacant, commercially-zoned site to Sheetz.

“I’m not going to sell any of it now,” said Ms. Lim, whose family owns a Warrenton Shell gas station and convenience store at Broadview Avenue and Church Street. “There are sensitive issues; I can’t say anything now.”

Sheetz representative John Maxwell and the company’s land planning consultant Paul Fleck failed to return phone messages seeking comment.

If Sheetz goes forward with the Bealeton proposal, it remains unclear whether the company would continue operate its Opal gas station and convenience store at Routes 17 and 29.

That store opened in 1996, according to county records. Steico Inc. — Sheetz’s real estate arm — owns the 2.3-acre parcel. For tax purposes, the county values the property at $2.4 million.

In November 2016, the Virginia Department of Transportation closed Marsh Road south of Opal. That prohibits southbound Route 17 motorists from turning left at the Opal stoplight to reach Bealeton and points beyond.

Southbound motorists who visit businesses along that portion of Marsh Road must use a U-turn to get back to Route 29, then take the interchange to Route 17 toward Bealeton.

More than 41,000 vehicles a day pass through Opal.

Sheetz also operates a Warrenton gas station and convenience store that opened in 1997, according to town records. The company leases the site at Lee Highway and Blackwell Road from the Wayland family.

The company’s business model relies heavily on “MTO” (made to order) food, as does that of WaWa, a convenience store company also based in Pennsylvania.
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Mochilee · April 17, 2018 at 4:09 pm
heard this idea a while back...another gas station in Bealeton is about as exciting as another fast food shop. Exciting would be Trader Joes or a good chain restaurant!
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