Mayor Miller shared an update at the Leeds Area Chamber of Commerce meeting this week on things happening in the city. We are all excited about Buc-ee’s confirming Leeds as their second Alabama location.
This is a very big deal. Every city in the United States would like to have a Buc-ee’s, which is the premier travel center in the country.
Their plans all along were to open their first two stores in Alabama with Baldwin County and Leeds. When they developed the first one in South Alabama, they made some changes to the interior and exterior layout. With the success of those changes, they decided to incorporate them in the Leeds store.
The ground breaking will take place next Wednesday, June 26 at 10:00 a.m. The President of Buc-ee’s along with the head of their real estate development will be here to celebrate.
The development of the project is in the architectural stage while they finalize the layout, before it goes to construction. Dirt will begin moving later this year once the architectural process has completed. It takes about eleven months for construction so we are looking toward fall of 2020 for completion.
“Buc-ee’s brings 208 jobs above minimum wage with 100+ gas pumps which will pump an estimate of 18 million gallons of gas the first year and it’s not a truck stop!”
Mayor went on to talk about questions and rumors about the Bass Pro deal. People have asked whether Bass Pro is closing down since it has been sold. The Bass Pro real estate division recently sold the Leeds property to divide the actual real estate from the retail store. This transaction enables their real estate division to handle buying, selling, leasing or developing the property without it affecting the retail store itself. Nothing changes with the Bass Pro retail store. They are not closing and they are not moving. It’s how real estate development works.
This happens with big retailers all of the time. For example, Walmart doesn’t own their land. Another example is the property at the new Wintzell’s restaurant which is coming up for sale, but it has nothing to do with the restaurant. The property is being bought and sold by developers and that is a total separate business from the restaurants and retailers.
In the press release that went out earlier in the week announcing Buc-ee’s news, the Mayor said, “We have worked toward this end for the past several years and being able to finally say “It’s here” is most gratifying,”
Buc-ee’s is the premier travel center chain in the country and by far the most sought after by municipalities. Buc-ee’s is not just about size, although their 100+ gas pumps, 54,000 sq. ft. retail store, 200+ employees and numerous super clean restrooms does put them in a class by themselves for this type store, especially, since they are not a truck stop and do not even allow big trucks on the property. More than size, Buc-ee’s boasts a unique selection of travel related and outdoor merchandise as well as a huge variety of food and snack items. Mayor Miller added, “in addition to all the superlatives about the store itself, we found that the Buc-ee’s ownership and staff were delightful, down to earth folks to work with as we forged our agreement. Adding Buc-ee’s to the list of premier sites such as Barber’s Motorsports, Bass Pro Shops, The Shops of Grand River and the soon to come Southern Museum of Flight at the I-20, 140 exit makes this a true Alabama and regional destination. We welcome Buc-ee’s to the stellar line-up of attractions around the City of Valor.”