Home Government Neighbors Plan Protest of Proposed Wawa, Panera Bread in Brick

Neighbors Plan Protest of Proposed Wawa, Panera Bread in Brick

A rendering of a proposed Wawa store and restaurant in Brick, N.J. (Credit: Supplied Photo)
A rendering of a proposed Wawa store and restaurant in Brick, N.J. (Credit: Supplied Photo)

More than a decade after residents near Duquesne Boulevard and surrounding streets were unsuccessful in preventing a Wendy’s fast food restaurant from opening, there is a new battle to fight.

This time, neighborhood residents are planning to oppose the construction of a Wawa store and gas station, plus a Panera Bread restaurant that has been proposed for at 535 and 545 Route 70, located off the highway’s eastbound lanes across the street from the PC Richard electronics store. It would be located on what is presently a wooded plot of land just south of Duquesne Boulevard.

The project was proposed in November and heard by the township’s Board of Adjustment shortly after, however testimony on the application was extensive and unable to be completed during one meeting. The board is next scheduled to take up the matter at its Feb. 1 meeting. In order for the project to move forward, the board must grant the developer a use variance since convenience stores, gas station and restaurants are normally not permitted in the “split” office-residential zone.


Since the project was first heard by the board late last year, considerable opposition has grown among neighbors, one of whom recently spoke to Shorebeat on the matter. The resident did not wish to be identified publicly.

“The traffic at the intersection of Route 70 and Duquesne is already horrendous and dangerous, and this is one of three main exits out of our neighborhood,” the resident, who is help leading opposition, said. “Also, residents think that Route 70 would probably have to be redesigned in order to accommodate three lanes, which would make traffic on it unstable for all who travel it, not just those in Lake Riviera.”

Other concerns include “excess noise, light, traffic, and fumes from gas, garbage,” the resident said, plus the idling of engines since there will be truck parking spaces at the Wawa. Residents have said the proximity to the Wawa could endanger property values and bring transients to the area, elevating crime concerns. In a 2008 article from a Monmouth County newspaper, an appraiser testified that a Wawa proposed for Eatontown could reduce property values by as much as 10-15 percent.

According to testimony from the Nov. 9 Board of Adjustment meeting, the development would include a 125 space parking area. Representatives from the developer said the state Department of Transportation would likely demand a third lane be built directly in front of the new shopping center. Plans currently call for a 6-foot sound wall to be installed around the drive-through area and a 50-foot buffer with evergreen trees encircling the site.

The neighbors also believe the project would have a negative environmental impact if gas were to spill from the filling station at the site. 

The residents have started an online petition to oppose the project which has attracted 120 signatures thus far. Mayor John Ducey said he could not comment on the proposal since it is pending before a township board, but encouraged residents to address the board with their concerns at the upcoming meeting.

“If the residents want to be heard, they should go there and make sure their voices are heard by the board,” Ducey said.

The meeting will take place Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. at the township municipal complex.

  • ThatGuy

    Northern Brick needs this more than that rt 70 area. We already have Costco gas, and the new Quick check plus the gas station on the corner of 70 and cedar bridge.

    Let WaWa move into the Kmart Plaza.

    Panera isnt great but its better than fast food and the crap pizza places on Herbertsville

  • KaayC

    Why cant Panera Bread move to one of the vacancies in Brick Plaza?

  • J W

    That Wendy’s got put in way more than a decade ago. More like a decade and a half ago.

  • Mike Brown

    ummm… didn’t they just renovate the Wawa that’s two minutes away on Brick Blvd?

    traffic is already horrendous at all hours of the day in that area. let’s not make it worse.

  • Smokin

    Go to meeting voice your opinion on something probably already approved…is that the main reason the parking ban in that area few months back …

  • Cankles got Trumped !

    How about an Arbees or Carls Jr there? We could use another burger joint in town.

  • Frank Rizzo

    Maybe an Hasidic temple would be better….yea..that cannot be blocked due to diversity laws….

  • Exit91b

    iI don’t live in that neighborhood, so I won’t be protesting. But if I was protesting, I would want to know why the parking lots extend so close to Route 70. Look at the (Google) aerial maps of the Wendy’s and look at how far it is off the highway. That’s because their parking lots don’t encroach on publicly owned (state owned) land. That’s good. If the state ever wants to widen the Route 70, no Wendy’s parking will be lost.

    Now look at the map of the proposed Wawa. If the right-of-way for Route 70 is the same width as in front of Wendy’s, a significant amount of parking is to be built on public land.

    This should not be approved. All parking should be on their own land,and all landscape buffers should be full sized. Then they can build in the space that remains.

    If that means just a Wawa without Panera, or just a Panera without Wawa or a Wawa without gas, well, okay. The developer should be allowed to build what fits under the rules and not be allowed to shoehorn in way too much for the size of the lot.

    • Make America Greater

      The town cant allow building on state right of ways.
      The right of way might be bigger on other side of highway.

      • Exit91b

        I didn’t say the town allowed ‘structures’ on state right of ways…. I was talking about parking lot spaces. If I were protesting, I would look very closely at the maps to see if that is proposed.

        Maybe I am seeing something that isn’t there, but it looks like there are parking spaces on the right of way in other places too…… for example, looking at the aerial photos and tax maps it looks like nearly all of the parking in front of the Joe Canal building is on state land….. but the buiiding isn’t.

        And the same with the Sleep Number building. The building is on private land, but all the parking between Route 70 and the building? Looks like state right of way on the maps I am looking at……
        I am not an insider, maybe the landlords are paying the state to rent the land…. but again, if I were protesting a project it’s worth researching.

  • Frank Rizzo

    Use the land up before the Lakewood cult gets it and builds a temple

  • Josh

    so the county is paying over $100,000 for a traffic study to “help” “solve” the traffic problems in Northern Ocean County, yet they want to add more stores to an already overcrowded, ridiculously congested Rt. 70? yeah… that will help alleviate the traffic nightmare.