TERRELL Perhaps Terrell mayor Hal Richards said it best: 'Everybody has a Buc-ee's story.'
Richard said it with a smile because he knows his town is Buc-ee's newest chapter.
The city council unanimously approved rezoning for a plot of land north off I-20, east of FM 148 and south of Spur 557, where construction is expected to begin in January on the first North Texas location for the iconic travel stop chain.
'This is ideal for us,' said Arch 'Beaver' Aplin, owner and founder of Buc-ee's. 'It's east of the D-FW area on the major interstate, which is exactly what we're looking for, just far enough outside the metroplex. Location-wise was ideal and the community just fit.'
Aplin said Kaufman County exudes Texas hospitality, which is what Buc-ee's is all about. It's also all about going big.
The Terrell Buc-ee's will be 60,000 square feet and sit on 20 acres. It will also be twice the size of the Buc-ee's in Madisonville and could have as many as 80 gas pumps. Aplin expects to hire 125 full-time people right away. In time, there could be 200 jobs at this site.
'We pay substantially above the pay scale for the industry,' Aplin said. 'We do that on purpose. We want the best, friendliest employees we can have. So, our starting wage will typically be 42 to 45 percent above average in the community.'
Buc-ee's is only the beginning. Terrell's city council approved what is expected to total 90 acres of development, called the Crossroads, with Buc-ee's being the first big anchor named. Developers say within weeks, names will be made public, but they predict four to five big retailers, a movie theater, smaller shops and a 'slew' of restaurants everyone will recognize.
The city did offer tax incentives, but the mayor said it's all worth it.
'Everything we've done is performance-based, which means no taxpayer dollars go to any developer until that revenue has been created through sales tax and property tax, so it's really a risk free thing for us,' said Mayor Richards.
An already-announced Baylor medical center facility is also planned for the same area.
Buc-ee's is expected to begin construction in January and will likely open in November 2014.