For months, area residents have been speculating on the possibility of a Sheetz convenience store locating in Elkins, and this week a spokesman for the chain confirmed that the company is at least considering the area.
"We are in contract to purchase a plot of land for a new store, but it will be some time before that purchase contract expires and we close on the property," real estate site selector for Sheetz Errin Hensley told The Inter-Mountain.
Hensley explained that although the company is in contract to purchase land, it does not necessarily guarantee that the purchase will be successful. He said before Sheetz can close on the property, it must sift through a lengthy list of red tape.
"We are still in the due diligence period and making sure we can build on this location," he said. "We will be submitting to the West Virginia Division of Highways for access permits and to the Randolph County Commission for our building permits."
Randolph County Commission President Mike Taylor said the county only requires businesses to get a flood plain determination from the assessor's office to determine that the building will not be located in a flood zone. Randolph County does not have zoning rules and, therefore, does not require businesses to complete a building permit process.
"Once they get that determination, they can break ground . As far as it goes, the county would end their involvement," Taylor said.
Although many area residents believe the site under consideration to be near Plantation Plaza, Hensley was unable to disclose the specific location.
"I can tell you the site is off US Route 219/250 and outside the city limits," he said.
With more than 425 Sheetz stores across Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and North Carolina, Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kate Reed said she would be happy to see Elkins become home to one of the famous chain's convenience stores in the near future.
"Any business added to the community is beneficial to us," Reed said. "It shows economic development."