Menu

When will Daytona, St. Augustine Buc-ee’s open?

Texas chain’s supersized gas stations to be largest in Florida

Two supersized Buc-ee’s gas station/convenience stores  are on track to open in St. Augustine and Daytona Beach some time in the first three months of the New Year, an official for the Texas-based chain confirmed.

“St. Johns (County) first then Daytona in Q1,” wrote Jeff Nadalo, chief general counsel for Buc-ee’s Ltd. in a brief text message. “We don’t have (exact opening) dates yet. Check back in a few weeks.”

The Buc-ee’s gas stations in St. Augustine and Daytona Beach will be the chain’s first in Florida. Each is expected to provide a welcome boost to the local economy by creating hundreds of jobs and serving as a destination stop for motorists along Interstate 95. But they are also raising concerns by area residents over the increased traffic congestion they will likely cause.

Gas stations to be biggest in Florida

The Buc-ee’s in St. Johns County is nearing completion at 200 World Commerce Parkway, next to World Golf Village on the southwest side of the Interstate 95/International Golf Parkway interchange (Exit 323). The gas station will have 104 fueling pumps, briefly making it the largest in Florida when it opens.

That’s because the Buc-ee’s under construction on the northeast side of the I-95/LPGA Boulevard interchange in Daytona Beach will be even larger: offering 120 fueling pumps.

Both Buc-ee’s will include a 53,000-square-foot convenience store larger than most grocery stores.

The largest gas station in Florida currently is the 38-pump Busy Bee truck stop in Live Oak which also has a 20,000-square-foot convenience store.

The St. Augustine and Daytona Beach Buc-ee’s stores will be the chain’s first in Florida. Unlike the Busy Bee, Buc-ee’s gas stations are not truck stops and do not allow 18-wheelers with the exception of those making deliveries to the store.

Both the St. Augustine and Daytona Beach Buc-ee’s will employ 200 workers each. Eighty percent will be full time and all will be eligible to receive benefits, said Nadalo.

Click here to view the full article

Development projects abound in Daytona’s LPGA area despite coronavirus

Developers continue to plan a slew of projects along Daytona’s LPGA corridor despite the coronavirus pandemic. Projects on both sides of Interstate 95 could bring more shops, eateries, hotels, homes, apartments and possibly a movie theater. Not to mention a whole bunch more traffic.

DAYTONA BEACH — A surge of development projects is heading for this city’s LPGA Boulevard corridor and not even the coronavirus pandemic can stop it.

Projects planned on both sides of Interstate 95 are poised to bring more shops, eateries, hotels, homes, apartments and possibly a movie theater.

Not to mention more traffic.

“Activity begets more activity,” said Carl Lentz IV, managing partner of SVN Alliance Commercial Real Estate Advisors. “Traffic is a good thing for retailers.”

“We got a little slowdown in momentum during the early stages of the pandemic, but all of the projects are still moving forward,” Lentz added. “As concerns over the pandemic are starting to subside, the momentum is picking up again.”

Since 2015, the I-95/LPGA area has seen the opening of three shopping centers — Tanger Outlets, Tomoka Town Center and Latitude Landings.

It has added regional distribution centers for Trader Joe’s and B.Braun as well as a last-mile delivery station for Amazon, the e-commerce giant.

Other recently completed commercial projects along the LPGA corridor include the new Sam’s Club, Stor-It Storage Center and Superwash Express.

The corridor has also seen the opening of two new residential subdivisions that have added more than 1,000 homes and three new luxury apartment complexes with more than than 900 units.

Also going up are more restaurants and shops at Tomoka Town Center.

Other tenants coming to Tomoka Town Center include a Rooms to Go store that will be built along I-95 just north of Tanger Outlets and an antique car-themed Ford’s Garage restaurant next to Chipotle.

Across the street on the east side of Williamson Boulevard, Orlando developer Unicorp is building a new shopping center called Shoppes at Williamson Crossing.

New luxury apartments are going up both along LPGA and Williamson boulevards that are expected to add more than 1,000 units.

And that’s just the beginning.

Click here to view the full article

Daytona Buc-ee’s is hiring, walls going up

The walls are going up for the highly anticipated Buc-ee’s gas station/travel convenience center next to the Interstate 95/LPGA Boulevard interchange in Daytona Beach. The 120-fuel pump station is on track to open in the second quarter of 2021 and will be the largest in Florida.

DAYTONA BEACH — A billboard just north of the Interstate 95/LPGA Boulevard interchange proclaims “Beavers at work.” Passing motorists can now see what the fuss is all about.

Workers with general contractor J. Raymond Construction have begun erecting the concrete tilt-up walls for a highly anticipated Buc-ee’s gas station and travel convenience center.

When it opens next spring, it will be the largest gas station in Florida with 120 fuel pumps and a 53,000-square-foot convenience store bigger than most supermarkets.

“We’re looking at a second quarter 2021 opening,” said Jeff Nadalo, general counsel for Buc-ee’s Ltd.

The chain has already begun advertising to fill several management positions for the Daytona Beach location.

Applications are now being accepted on its website for assistant general manager, merchandise/gift manager, food service manager and six other positions.

The annual pay for the assistant general manager position is advertised as being ”$57,000 and up” and includes healthcare benefits, 401(k), and three weeks time off per year.

“Candidates must be able to train in Texas/Alabama for at least six months prior to returning to the Florida location,” the Buc-ee’s jobs posting states. “Career opportunities abound for motivated, high energy and high customer service individuals.”

The general manager position will be filled by an existing Buc-ee’s employee who will transfer here from one of the chain’s other locations, he added.

The Daytona Beach location will employ a total of 200 workers. More than 80% will be full-time, said Nadalo. The majority of those jobs will be filled two to three months before the store opens.

“All employees get three weeks vacation, which is prorated if part time,” he said.

Wages for non-management positions at the Daytona Beach Buc-ee’s have yet to be determined, said Nadalo. “All employees are eligible for 401(k). … Full-time employees are eligible for health insurance,” he said.

Buc-ee’s advertised a pay range of $13 to $17 an hour for employees at its location that opened in Alabama last year.

Click here to view the full article

More Daytona development set for LPGA area

The development surge along Daytona’s LPGA corridor could soon become a flood. Projects are planned on both sides of Interstate 95 that could bring more shops, eateries, hotels, homes, apartments and possibly a movie theater. Not to mention a whole bunch more traffic.

DAYTONA BEACH — The development surge along this city’s LPGA Boulevard corridor could soon become a deluge.

Projects planned on both sides of Interstate 95 are poised to bring more shops, eateries, hotels, homes, apartments and possibly a movie theater.

Not to mention more traffic.

“Activity begets more activity,” said Carl Lentz IV, managing partner of SVN Alliance Commercial Real Estate Advisors.

“Traffic is a good thing for retailers.”

Since 2015, the I-95/LPGA area has seen the opening of three shopping centers — Tanger Outlets, Tomoka Town Center and Latitude Landings.

It has added regional distribution centers for Trader Joe’s and B.Braun as well as a last-mile delivery station for Amazon, the e-commerce giant.

Other recently completed commercial projects along the LPGA corridor include the new Sam’s Club, Stor-It Storage Center and Superwash Express.

The corridor has also seen the opening of two new residential subdivisions that have added more than 1,000 homes and three new luxury apartment complexes with more than than 900 units.

Projects under construction include a Buc-ee’s next to the I-95/LPGA Boulevard interchange. When it opens next year, the 120-fuel pump facility will be the largest gas station in Florida. It will include a 53,000-square-foot travel convenience center, bigger than most supermarkets.

Also going up are more restaurants and shops at Tomoka Town Center.

New tenants expected to open later this year include a Duck Donuts gourmet donuts shop next to Blaze Pizza, and a 5.11 Tactical outdoor apparel shop next to Barnes & Noble, said Tomoka Town Center developer Jeff Preston.

Other tenants coming to Tomoka Town Center include a Rooms to Go store that will be built along I-95 just north of Tanger Outlets and an antique car-themed Ford’s Garage restaurant next to Chipotle.

Across the street on the east side of Williamson Boulevard, Orlando developer Unicorp is building a new shopping center called Shoppes at Williamson Crossing.

New luxury apartments are going up both along LPGA and Williamson boulevards that are expected to add more than 1,000 units.

And that’s just the beginning.

Click here to view the full article

More retail coming to Daytona’s LPGA Boulevard

Site work has begun on three new retail projects just east of the Interstate-95/LPGA Boulevard interchange in Daytona Beach: a highly anticipated Buc-ee’s mega-sized gas station/travel convenience center, a new shopping center called Williamson Crossing, and a pair of new retail buildings at Tomoka Town Center.

DAYTONA BEACH — When Pete Tavolacci decided to open his Dominic’s Deli & Eatery at Tomoka Town Center in February, he did so because of the tremendous growth both at the center as well as the surrounding area.

“We were looking for an expansion site and this was a perfect fit,” said Tavolacci, who also owns a Dominic’s Deli in Palm Coast.

The Interstate 95/LPGA Boulevard interchange area is home on its east side to both Tomoka Town Center, the neighboring Tanger Outlets and the new Sam’s Club that opened in July.

On the west side is the new Publix-anchored Latitude Landings shopping center that opened in November next to Latitude Margaritaville and is set to soon add more shops and restaurants.

And more commercial growth is on the way.

This past week, site work began on not one, not two, but three new retail projects in the area just east of the Interstate-95/LPGA Boulevard interchange.

Land is now being cleared for the highly anticipated Buc-ee’s mega gas station/travel convenience center, a new retail center called Shoppes at Williamson Crossing, and a pair of new retail buildings at Tomoka Town Center, across from, Tavolacci’s deli/restaurant.

Jeff Preston of North American Development Group, the developer of Tomoka Town Center, which welcomed its first stores just over a year ago, confirmed that his company has begun construction of two side-by-side standalone retail buildings. One will become home to a Verizon Wireless store. The other will be offer storefront spaces for multiple tenants.

A site has also been cleared up the street from the two future retail buildings for a planned antique car-themed restaurant called Ford’s Garage, which is expected to soon start vertical construction, Preston said.

Talks also are underway with the Miller’s Ale House restaurant chain which has shown interest in possibly building a new standalone eatery on the undeveloped lot immediately south of the new Sam’s Club.

Click here to view the full article

Site work underway for Daytona’s super-sized Buc-ee’s

Three months after its ground-breaking, site work has finally begun in earnest for the Buc-ee’s super-sized gas station/convenience store in Daytona Beach. When it opens in mid-2021, it will be the biggest gas station in Florida, able to have as many as 120 vehicles gas up at the same time.

DAYTONA BEACH — Three months after its ground-breaking ceremony with Gov. Ron DeSantis, site work finally began in earnest Monday on the highly anticipated Buc-ee’s mega gas station/convenience store here.

When it opens in mid-2021, the gas station on the northeast side of the Interstate 95/LPGA Boulevard interchange will be the biggest in Florida, with enough fuel pumps to allow 120 cars to gas up at the same time.

And its 53,000-square-foot “travel convenience center” will be bigger than most supermarkets, offering a vast array of snacks, sandwiches and hot prepared foods and convenience items.

“We’re in full swing,” said Jeff Nadalo, general counsel for the Lake Jackson, Texas-based Buc-ee’s chain, in a phone interview.

The Daytona Beach Buc-ee’s will employ 200 people.

In an interview last year, Buc-ee’s co-founder Arch “Beaver” Aplin told The Daytona Beach News-Journal that his chain’s locations are intended to cater to the “traveling automobile public” and are not to be confused with truck stops.

The only 18-wheelers allowed at Buc-ee’s locations are those delivering supplies or fuel.

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.”

The chain touts the cleanliness of its large restrooms, which are constantly maintained and stocked by full-time attendants.

The chain’s stores also carry a wide array of snacks, including its own line of jerky and “Beaver Nuggets” (caramel-coated corn puffs), travel convenience items, fresh made barbecue, sandwiches, pastries, fudge, and “unique apparel,” gifts and handmade craft items.

Click here to view the full article

Daytona Buc-ee’s to break ground Sept. 16

The wait is over. Buc-ee’s is finally set to break ground in Daytona on Monday. The mega gas station and supermarket-sized convenience store will be the largest in Florida.

DAYTONA BEACH —Turns out, the wait won’t be as long as expected: Buc-ee’s will break ground here Monday for what could be the largest gas station/convenience store in Florida.

A ceremony to mark the start of construction for the planned 120-fueling position gas station and 53,000-square-foot travel convenience center will take place at 10 a.m. on the northeast corner of the Interstate 95/LPGA Boulevard interchange in Daytona Beach.

The announcement comes after Buc-ee’s spokesman Jeff Nadalo acknowledged in an interview in late July that the project might not break ground until the summer of 2021 because of delays in obtaining the necessary permits from the city.

“Sometimes things come in sooner than expected,” said Nadalo in a phone interview Tuesday. “We just got all the necessary permits and approvals.”

The Daytona Beach location will be the first to break ground in Florida for the chain, which also plans to add stores in St. Augustine, in the World Golf Village area, Fort Myers and Ocala.

The 53,000-square-foot Buc-ee’s “travel convenience center” and 120-fueling position gas station is expected to open in early 2021 and will include a car wash as well as room on the 35-acre property for other stores and/or restaurants.

Buc-ee’s first announced its plans to build a store in Daytona Beach in April 2017, saying at the that it expected it to open in 2018 as the chain’s first location outside of Texas.

Click here to view the full article

Buc-ee’s: The Path to World Domination

Beaver Aplin built the quirky convenience chain into a Texas empire. Will his tactics translate outside the state?

About a century ago, in central Louisiana, in the town of Harrisonburg, the seat of Catahoula Parish, Arch and Mae Aplin opened a general mercantile store. The Aplins sold everything—dried goods and leather shoes, medicine and cotton shirts, cuts of beef and hammers and nails—and their store was successful, in large part because of its location.

Harrisonburg sits on the western bank of the Ouachita River, and back then the town was a hub for travelers. If you were heading east to Mississippi or west into the Louisiana Hill Country, you had to traverse the Ouachita, and the ferry that docked at the bottom of Main Street in Harrisonburg was one of the only ways to do that. The Aplins’ store stood on Main Street, just inland from the ferry. No one crossing the river in either direction could miss it.

But the Aplins didn’t just want customers of convenience. They took pride in their store. They called it Arch Aplin’s Biggest Little Store in Catahoula Parish, and they offered travelers products they couldn’t get anywhere else. The Aplins stocked turnip greens they’d harvested on their farm, and they sold syrup they’d made from their own sugarcane. Arch raised cattle and hogs, and he’d built a smokehouse on the family property to cure the meat he produced. It became famous throughout their corner of the Deep South.

“It was so good that the salesmen coming from Alexandria, Monroe, and Natchez, Mississippi, they’d put their order in for so many hams and so many pounds of sausage,” Arch and Mae’s son Arch Aplin Jr. remembered.

Arch Jr. was born in 1925, and he was more or less raised at the store. His mother nursed him in the back room when he was a baby. He worked there as a kid. And as a young man, when he’d returned home from the Pacific after World War II, he helped his parents run their business.

Aplin at his first store, in Lake Jackson, a week after it opened in 1982.

On July 28, 1982, Arch III opened his store at 899 Oyster Creek Drive, right where it crossed Old Angleton Road. Early on, he decided he’d need a good name and a good logo, something he could build on. The logo wasn’t ready by the time the store opened, but he’d already commissioned it. It would be a cartoon riff on his nickname since childhood, Beaver.

The name of the store, too, drew inspiration from his life. When Beaver was a kid, one of his father’s colleagues called him Bucky Beaver, after a cartoon character featured in Ipana toothpaste ads. Beaver had also had a beloved hunting dog, a Lab that he named Buck. The nearby high school in Brazoswood had the Buccaneers as their mascot. It all added up.

“I think you’ll see it’s the nicest, prettiest store around. It’s very sharp looking,” Aplin told the Brazosport Facts on the store’s opening day. “I believe everyone who comes in will be in awe over the way it looks.” He made clear his ambitions were bigger than that one location. “If this one goes like we hope it will, you never can tell, we might have a chain of Buc-ee’s.”

Click here to view the full article

Buc-ee’s in Daytona, St. Augustine still on track

Although there are still some technical issues pending, the Buc-ee’s project in the World Golf Village area near St. Augustine is on the path to eventual approval.

And in Daytona Beach, construction on the store planned for the northeast corner of Interstate 95 and LPGA Boulevard could begin as early as this year.

The chain of jumbo-sized gas station/gift shops has a massive following around the South (mostly Texas), but the St. Johns County project has encountered quite a bit of local push back due to size and traffic concerns.

However, because of the zoning near the International Golf Parkway-I-95, Buc-ee’s doesn’t need any special approval from the St. Johns County Commission or any other board.

The property’s land use designation is Mixed Use and the zoning is Planned Unit Development within the World Commerce Center PUD, which allows for retail, commercial and industrial development, including gas stations.

The 104-pump gas station with a 52,600-square-foot store must simply follow the development rules as established by state and county codes. The representatives of Buc-ee’s are currently engaged in that process with the county and fully intend to make the project work.

Click here to view the full article

Consolidated’s land-selling spree continues

DAYTONA BEACH — Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co.’s days as one of Daytona Beach’s largest landowners are fast nearing an end.

The public company in its second quarter earnings report disclosed its local land holdings are now down to 5,500 acres as of June 30, from 8,100 on March 31.

Of its remaining land, 4,300 acres are under contract to be sold between now and 2020.

“This is an evolution of the company,” said CEO John Albright.

Historically, Consolidated-Tomoka generated most of its revenues from land sales as well as timber and hay production on the vast acreage it owned in Daytona Beach.

Most of its land holdings are in the area surrounding the Interstate 95/LPGA Boulevard interchange.

Consolidated-Tomoka owned approximately 11,000 acres locally when Albright became CEO in August 2011.

Its land sales since then include the sites of what is now the Trader Joe’s distribution center and Tanger Outlets mall on the east side of I-95 and the Latitude Margaritaville and Mosaic communities going up just west of I-95.

The company has reinvested most of the proceeds from those land sales to buy income-producing properties such as retail and office buildings leased to long-term tenants.

Those acquisitions have been largely in other parts of the country — with two notable exceptions.

Consolidated-Tomoka in January completed the construction of two oceanfront restaurants — Landshark Bar & Grill and Coquina 214 Restaurant & Bar — on six acres it acquired in 2016, north of SunSplash Park.

In the first quarter of this year, the company acquired three acres belonging to First Baptist Church in downtown Daytona Beach and in June added other neighboring parcels on the same block.

“We intend to pursue the potential redevelopment of these parcels, which are located nearly adjacent to the location of the future new headquarters of Brown & Brown Inc.,” Consolidated-Tomoka stated in its earnings release

Click here to view the full article