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MORGANTOWN, W. Va. -- A new Sheetz Inc. store slated to rise at West Virginia University (WVU) will break the mold. In addition to typical convenience products, the location will stand out for what it does have -- groceries -- and what it doesn't have -- gas.
The 15,000-square-foot restaurant and grocery store will be built on the ground floor of University Place, a new student apartment and retail complex underway at the Morgantown, W. Va., university. The housing community and market are set to open in the fall, according to a WVU news release.
The new concept will make Sheetz the first major retailer with grocery offerings in the downtown Morgantown area in many years. The store will also be the first of its kind for the Sheetz brand -- triple the size of a typical Sheetz store with indoor and outdoor seating for more than 100 people.
"This is a very special kind of Sheetz experience, and we're thrilled to be at the University Place location serving WVU students and the Morgantown community," said Louie Sheetz, who sits on Sheetz Inc.'s board of directors. "Students can expect all the same great things that they already love about Sheetz, including our Made-to-Order (MTO) quality foods, and now so much more."
The Altoona, Pa.-based retailer joined with Paradigm Development Group and WVU, the groups involved in the public-private partnership that is bringing University Place to life, to unveil the concept on Wednesday.
"We are thrilled to have Sheetz as the anchor tenant at University Place student apartments," said Ryan Lynch, partner with Paradigm Development Group. "This new grocery concept fills a void in the heart of campus and in the downtown Morgantown area. Not only will students enjoy a modern, convenient lifestyle at University Place, but now they will be able to shop, eat and socialize there. We look forward to bringing new, vibrant life to Sunnyside with this project."
The Sheetz grocery store will feature fresh food options, including the chain's signature MTO subs and sandwiches, M-T-Go! prepared foods, Shweetz Bakery and Sheetz Bros. Coffeez, a full-service espresso and smoothie bar. In addition, the market will offer a wide variety of traditional grocery items so that students and neighborhood residents no longer have to leave the downtown area to purchase groceries.
Targeted for completion in August, University Place features modern, independent living for WVU sophomores, juniors, seniors, graduate and professional students, and veterans. Retail amenities like the new Sheetz grocery store complement the community-based development, according to the university.
"This is an ideal location for the new-concept Sheetz -- right in the heart of this modern student apartment complex that's within a few short blocks from the downtown campus, as well as neighborhoods and transportation," said WVU Dean of Students Corey Farris. "To live and shop here is going to be phenomenal for our student residents and for this reinvigorated neighborhood."
Farris added that the new Sheetz store should also help reduce traffic and congestion in the area and attract additional development, further enhancing this once blighted area.