Construction could be just around the corner for a long-anticipated Sheetz gas station and convenience store on N.C. 86 across from Walmart and Home Depot near the Interstate 85 interchange.
Montgomery Development, based in Durham, recently closed bidding on the 6,489-square-foot construction project at 1902 N.C. 86. The Sheetz will have a drive-through in the rear, which property owner James Paliouras said will let customers order from the store’s menu and buy basic groceries and other goods.
Paliouras confirmed Montgomery Development was shooting for a Jan. 8 start date, but a few details still need to be worked out. Orange County planning officials said the company does not have all of its permits yet.
The Sheetz project has been planned for a few years, but was delayed by required grading work and the installation of necessary stormwater systems and other infrastructure, county planning director Craig Benedict said earlier this year.
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Hillsborough also is installing a new 1,800-foot water line that will serve the Sheetz property and provide more fire hydrants.
“We’re excited,” Paliouras said. “We’re looking forward to it. It’s been a long road, and a lot of hoops to jump through, but we’re getting there.”
The site is the former location of the Paliouras truck stop, and is located across N.C. 86 from Hampton Pointe shopping center, which includes about a dozen stores, including a competing Eagles gas station with a Burger King drive-through.
Sheetz, a family-owned convenience store chain based in Pennsylvania, has leased the property through 2030. It has over 500 stores in six states, including nearly 150 in North Carolina, but this will be the first Orange County location.
It will occupy about one acre of the 31-acre tract, leaving a lot of room for future growth, county officials said. However, additional projects will depend on when the N.C. Department of Transportation widens N.C. 86 and replaces the two-lane I-85 bridge, which often backs up with traffic.
Although a restaurant has been rumored, no plans have been submitted, county planning supervisor Michael Harvey said. A Walgreen’s initially planned for the site fell through after the drugstore retailer bought rival Kerr Drugs.
“We’ve got interest with other people for the rest of the property, but nothing definite yet,” Paliouras said, adding “once Sheetz begins, we can evaluate what offers we get a lot better.”
A food truck has operated on the lot for over a year.