'Home & Away Games' for Sheetz

While continuing multistate expansion, chain also upgrading, growing closer to home

ALTOONA, Pa. -- Although Sheetz Inc. officials said they are concentrating their expansion efforts in North Carolina and West Virginia, projects are continuing in the Altoona, Pa., home base and Pittsburgh areas, reported the Altoona Mirror. Close to home, Sheetz is building new stores to replace old ones in Greenwood and McKee, and plans are in the works for new stores in the Claysburg area.

The new Greenwood store will open November 23, company director of real estate Steve Augustine told the newspaper. "This is our newer model with indoor and outdoor seating, a car wash and a drive-through window."

The Greenwood location will be without gasoline service for about 10 weeks after the new store opens as workers take out the old gasoline dispensers and put in new ones, Augustine added.

Sheetz plans to rebuild the McKee location, with work expected to begin in March and be completed in the summer. It plans to build a new store south of Claysburg near Sheetz Way, which leads to the Sheetz Distribution Center.

"Our goal is to start in the spring and be open by September," Augustine said.

Plans are in the works to build another store in the area, but there is no time frame in place for that project. "We have an agreement to lease about three acres, but there are a lot of hurdles to overcome first. There is a wetlands issue, PennDOT occupancy permit issue, utility issues, water and sewer issues," Augustine said. "It is a project that has five big hurdles to overcome."

The local projects should lead to the creation of about 120 new jobs, Augustine said.

And as reported last week, Sheetz plans to open several new stores by the end of next year in the Pittsburgh area, creating about 250 new jobs.

Sheetz plans to open a new location in Ross Township in November followed by another new store in Lower Burrell in January, Linda Pacovsky, Sheetz district manager for East Allegheny and Westmoreland counties, told the Mirror. Sheetz is also looking at new sites in North Huntingdon, Bethel Park and the Uniontown area and hopes to add another store in the Blairsville area, Pacovsky said. It also plans to rebuild in Cheswick, Cranberry Township and Ligonier.

"We are making them bigger, some of them are 20 years old. We need bigger kitchens to meet the needs of our sales in food," shey said.

The chain has 406 stores in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia.