The Sheetz gas station and convenience store at the corner of Benner Pike and Shiloh Road is getting a facelift — and customers will have to go elsewhere for several months.
Construction began Monday for a rebuilt Sheetz planned for 765 Benner Pike. Signs on the metal fence now surrounding the property warn the area is closed until further notice.
In January, College Township approved plans for Sheetz to demolish the existing, 4,700-square-foot store and develop a 6,077-square-foot replacement. The new store will have 14 gas pumps and 60 parking spots, including three handicapped-accessible spots, according to plans shared with the township.
Designs submitted over the summer — which include a drive-thru, a restaurant atmosphere inside and, if Sheetz can land a liquor license, a walk-in beer cooler — remain on track, township zoning officer Mark Gabrovsek said.
PennTerra Engineering in State College oversaw the land development plan and is helping Sheetz secure necessary permits. Mark Torretti, a project manager with PennTerra, said the firm hopes to get a permit this week to demolish the existing building and another permit by month’s end to construct the new one.
The rebuild is expected to take about five months, with Sheetz projecting an opening date of Aug. 22, Torretti said.
In September, the project hit some hang-ups due to the possibility of a traffic study that might have reduced size and scope of the rebuild.
Sheetz ended up not needing a study, said Gabrovsek, because the company did not change the road entrances and exits at the property.
Perkins Restaurant and Bakery, located nearby at 525 Benner Pike, expects more business while the convenience store is closed. General Manager Darby Cummings said the restaurant was “a little bit busier today than normal” Monday and had served several contractors working on the Sheetz project.
Others aren’t so excited for the closure.
“We’ll be anxious to have (the Sheetz) up and running again,” Gabrovsek said.