New WaWa site

The new Wawa store in Crystal River is scheduled to open in June 2021, according to the company.

Construction on the Crystal River Wawa has begun.

Earth-moving equipment showed up on the site at the northeast corner of State Road 44 and U.S. 19 last week, almost three years after the old Fat Boys' Bar-B-Q restaurant was torn down to make way for the new gas station/convenience store.

Ryan Keidel, real estate project engineer for Wawa, said in an email to city officials that he ”ran into a bit of an issue” with the 20,000-gallon underground storage tank manufacturer but that has been resolved.

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Keidel anticipates the new Wawa to debut in June 2021 and added that the chain is “extremely excited to finally open in Crystal River.”

Construction on Crystal River Wawa slated for later this year

Meanwhile, the city has received an inquiry from Dan’s Car Wash about possibly building a facility right next to the new Wawa, at the site of the soon-to-be vacant Suncoast Credit Union at that same intersection.

City correspondence show car wash representatives contacted the Florida Department of Transportation about potential vehicle access to the site.

The left-turn medians at U.S. 19 and State Road 44 have reduced access to certain sites at that corner.

Keidel told city officials he welcomes Dan’s Car Wash as a neighbor because “we have a great synergy with car wash facilities.”

Dan’s has not submitted anything formally to Crystal River.

Suncoast Credit Union getting new home, away from congestion

Suncoast Credit Union announced in September it is relocating about 0.7 miles east at 1101 NE 5th St., about 0.7 miles east on State Road 44 by the RaceTrac.

David White, Suncoast’s senior service center manager, said congestion at the downtown intersection was the main reason for the move.

Contact Chronicle reporter Michael D. Bates at 352-563-3205 or To see more of his stories, visit