By itself, the school site is too small for redevelopment by today's standards, he said. But if you close the street and add the property on the other side, "It would be a couple of acres. It would be big enough to do something with."
Smith has two requests before the Planning Commission Wednesday -- the rezoning of the church properties and the street closing.
He has asked that the church properties -- five adjacent parcels -- to be rezoned from R-4 (family residential) to C-8 (village commercial) to match the zoning for the school property.
Under a street closing, the developer has to buy the right-of-way from the city. An appraisal by Rolston & Co. says the property -- 6,742 square feet -- is worth $20,000.
That block of Alethia Street is rarely used, Smith said. "We did a survey. It was only 29 cars a day and some of them were lost, trying to find the Interstate."
The city's planning office has received several calls since notices of the commission hearing went out, Planning Director Dan Vriendt said. While a few people have concerns, most don't seem to care, he said.
Smith has apparently talked to chain stores about the site. He may even have some sort of deal in mind. If so, he's not saying. Sheetz is known to be seeking sites in the greater Charleston area.
"Right now, I don't have a contract," he said.
"It could be some kind of franchise. I don't know," Smith said. "I think it's an attractive location there."
Reach Jim Balow at ba...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5102.