Buc-ee’s co-founder: Daytona construction could start this summer

Buc-ee’s is coming to Daytona Beach, and motorists should be able to start filling up at mega-sized gas station/convenience store planned next to the Interstate 95/LPGA Boulevard interchange sometime next year.

So says the Texas-based chain’s co-founder and partial namesake Arch “Beaver” Aplin.

“Our goal is to start construction definitely in 2018 and if we get lucky by the summer of 2018,” he said in a recent phone interview.

“It takes us about a year from start to finish to open — 10 months to build and about six weeks to stock (the store) and train staff.”

Aplin spoke to The News-Journal shortly after the city’s planning board unanimously approved rezoning the 35 acres on the northeast corner of the I-95/LPGA Boulevard interchange, an important first step towards giving his company the green light to start building the 120-pump gas station and 53,300-square-foot “travel convenience center,” which will be bigger than most Publix grocery stores.

“We’re excited about it,” said Aplin, whose company is also planning a location in St. Johns County, also along I-95, near World Golf Village, as well as one in Fort Myers.

While Daytona Beach was the first planned location outside of Texas to be announced last April, Aplin said the first to actually open most likely will be either the one in St. Johns or here, depending on which will receive approval first to begin construction.

The planned Daytona Beach location will employ approximately 200 workers, he said, adding that his company expects to spend $15-20 million to build the gas station/travel center, which will take up 14 acres of the site, just west of the Stonewood Grill restaurant on LPGA Boulevard.

The site includes five outparcels where standalone buildings for other businesses could be built. Buc-ee’s will have a single interstate sign that will be 85 feet high and will bear the chain’s cartoon beaver mascot image above the word “Daytona.”

Buc-ee’s considers its locations to be destination draws where motorists will go out of their way to visit. It even has billboards along interstates with messages such as “Only 262 miles to Buc-ee’s. You can hold it.”

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