MORRISVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — A new kind of gas station is coming to the Triangle. RDU Galleria is set to open in about two weeks along Aviation Parkway near Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
Kishor Kaneria and his family own RDU Galleria. They believe it is the first of its kind in the United States.
The gas station has a three-story building attached. There are 16 Shell gas pumps, a convenience store, a food court that includes Pizza Hut, Which Wich, Wayback Burgers, Gloria Jean’s Coffees, a beer and wine bar, and up above, 22,000 square feet of office space.
The plan is for it to be open 24/7, spokesmen say.
Kaneria sees the new business as fitting in with the future of the growing airport.
“This is a great location, and location is the key to get success,” he said.
He said the space has seating for 90 people inside and 60 people outside, along with Wi-Fi, outlets and an RDU flight board.
Tiresa Baylor was waiting in RDU Galleria’s parking lot before picking up a passenger at RDU and said she has never seen a place like this. She said the airport needs more options nearby.
“I love a place that you can go where you have options, and then if you need to come and do business, that’s great,” Baylor said. “I’ve never seen anything like this, so I think this is amazing.”
Baylor and other drivers CBS 17 spoke to said the Aviation Station Sheetz used to be their go-to.
An airport spokesperson said Sheetz is set to reopen as a larger facility as early as November with more fuel pumps, a food drive-through and other new amenities.
Kaneria believes there’s enough demand for both gas stations near the airport.
“There are needs of a premium gasoline customer always looking for a second choice, as well as having four or five different franchise foods,” he said.
As for the office space at RDU Galleria, Kaneria said two companies are on board to lease space and should start moving in around January 2024. He said about 25 percent of the office space is still available.
Furthermore, Scott Walker of Pinehurst was waiting in the RDU Galleria parking lot before picking up someone whose flight was delayed. He said choices near the airport are needed, especially places that have seating. He is excited for RDU Galleria to open.
“A lot of people come to try to get here early because you don’t want to get caught in the (Interstate) 40 traffic and there’s nowhere to go, so you come and just hang out in the parking lot, but there (would be) places to eat, that’s great,” Walker said. “Even if you’re coming in early for your flight instead of going to the airport and standing around the airport spending a billion dollars on whatever you’re eating, you could come here and get something reasonable to eat.”
Even more options could be coming to Aviation Parkway. A spokesperson for the airport said the Airport Authority plans to lease land next to Sheetz for future dining and retail development. No timetable has been announced.