Cumru OKs plan for 9th Sheetz store in Berks

Construction expected to begin in spring 2018

CUMRU TWP., Pa. - Sheetz has been given the go-ahead to build its ninth convenience store in Berks County.

The Cumru Township commissioners on Tuesday granted final approval for a proposed Sheetz at the site of a former restaurant and bank at Route 724 and Lancaster Pike.

The commissioners granted final plan approval with several standard conditions for the new store and gas station.

The property, formerly home to Dempsey’s restaurant and a bank, has been vacant for quite some time. Sheetz plans to demolish both buildings.

Cumru Township Manager Jeanne Johnston said after the meeting that the Sheetz will be a large store, at nearly 6,000 square feet, with outdoor seating and several gas pumps.

Johnston said Sheetz doesn't expect to begin construction until the spring of 2018, primarily because of the need for a water discharge permit, which typically takes several months to secure.

Other requirements include a highway occupancy permit from the state, the posting of an escrow and completion of an improvements agreement.

The Cumru store will be Sheetz's first in the township and its ninth in Berks County. The Altoona-based chain also has stores in Bethel, Caernarvon, Exeter, Lower Heidelberg, Muhlenberg, Ontelaunee, Perry, and Richmond townships.

The Cumru commissioners also granted waivers for the Old Dominion Freight Line land development plan for a "stackhouse" at Poplar Neck Road and Route 724. Johnston said a "stackhouse" is a place where cargo can be transferred from one truck to another. Construction of that building will begin very soon.

In other business, Robert McNichols Jr., the township's public works superintendent, addressed the concerns of one resident who felt that the bridge construction on Route 724 near Route 625 was taking too long.

The resident said that he often saw no work being done on the bridge. McNichols said it is a PennDOT project, but he has heard that the bridge should be open in one or two weeks.

He also explained that concrete needs to set so that it can cure, which is probably why it took so long and why it seemed that work wasn't being done.

PennDOT initially proposed working on both the bridge at Routes 724 and 625 and the bridge on Route 625 at Mountain View Road at the same time, but the township recognized a problem immediately, Johnston said.

"Half the township would be cut off," she said.

PennDOT agreed to delay work on the bridge at Mountain View Road. She advised residents that this bridge will be completely closed and will also take some time to complete. The project is expected to begin sometime next year.

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