TravelCenters of America announced Monday it will break ground on one of its signature centers in Bulloch County next week, bringing the first project to the Southern Gateway Commerce Park.
In an email Monday morning, the Development Authority of Bulloch County sent out an invitation to the 10 a.m. groundbreaking on Wednesday, Nov. 10. Authority CEO Benjy Thompson offered no other comment about the project. Also, Tina Arundel, a spokesperson for TravelCenters of America said in an email that more details about the company’s plans for the Bulloch property would be released next week.
The Statesboro Herald reported in August that TA Operating LLC purchased a 19.4 acre parcel inside the Commerce Park on behalf of TravelCenters of America from the Development Authority for $1.36 million.
TravelCenters of America Inc. was founded in 1972 and has its headquarters in Westlake, Ohio. According to the company website it is the nation's largest publicly traded full-service travel center network. TravelCenters has more than 18,000 employees and operates about 276 locations in 44 states and Canada, principally under the TA, Petro Stopping Centers and TA Express brands.
Arundel did say that the Bulloch County location on Rocky Road inside the Commerce Park at Interstate 16 and Highway 301 South would be a TA Express center. All TravelCenters facilities cater to both the public and professional commercial trucking operators.
In October, TravelCenters opened a TA Express in Almeda, Texas, near Houston. That facility includes a Subway, Gourmet Taco Kitchen and a deli. Also, there is a convenience store, parking for 65 trucks and 25 cars. Four diesel fueling spots and 12 TA-branded gas pumps. For commercial truck drivers, there are three showers, a driver lounge, a laundromat and a CAT scale.
The Bulloch County Board of Commissioners approved the purchase in 2010 of approximately 200 acres using Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funds from a 2007 SPLOST that would become the Southern Gateway Commerce Park.
Though no businesses prior to the TravelCenters announcement have located in the Commerce Park, at the Development Authority’s annual meeting in August, Thompson said 10 business were looking at the Park for possible projects.