Wawa convenience stores are one of the hottest sought after triple net lease investment properties in the market today.
Most Wawa net leases properties offer an investor long-term security and absolutely no management responsibilities in the form of a 20-year primary term ground lease. These ground leases provide additional investment security given the nature of the real estate investment made by Wawa's real estate team, including the Wawa Engineering and Construction Department which is responsible for the design, engineering and construction of all new stores and remodels. As with any ground lease investment, a landlord should be comforted by the fact that the tenant, in this case Wawa, has made a significant capital investment in the construction of the building, which at the end of the lease will become property of the ground lease owner.
Also driving the demand and value of Wawa triple net lease properties is the strong real estate fundamentals of the property sites. Wawa's real estate team has specific site select criteria, which focus on key trade area location characteristics. Wawa net lease properties are typically located at signalized corners and outparcel/pads of shopping centers with good visibility and ingress/egress. Ideal trade area characteristics include adequate population and minimum traffic counts of at least 25,000 vehicles per day. Sites should be located on high-volume intersections near other commercial traffic generators.
Wawa, Inc., a privately held company, began in 1803 as an iron foundry in New Jersey. Toward the end of the 19th Century, owner George Wood took an interest in dairy farming and the family began a small processing plant in Wawa, Pa, in 1902. The milk business was a huge success, due to its quality, cleanliness and "certified" process. As home delivery of milk declined in the early 1960s, Grahame Wood, George's grandson, opened the first Wawa Food Market in 1964 as an outlet for dairy products.
Today, Wawa is your all day, every day stop for fresh, built-to-order foods, beverages, coffee, fuel services, and surcharge-free ATMs. A chain of more than 720 convenience retail stores (over 365 offering gasoline), Wawa stores are located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Central Florida.
Wawa is currently expanding in Florida and have scheduled to open 50 stores by year-end 2017. They also plan to renovate 175 stores by 2018.