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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Nov. 28, 201706:50 AM EST

Love’s planning second area truck stop

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Site near Interstate 10 and U.S. 301 expected to open by 2020.

Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores is planning a second area store to open by early 2020 in the far Westside.

The Oklahoma City-based company wants to build a travel center on 17.21 acres at northwest Interstate 10 and U.S. 301 near Baldwin.

The chain opened a store in May 2015 at 400 Pecan Park Road off I-95 north of Jacksonville International Airport.

The average investment for a new Love’s Travel Stop is $11 million.

Spokeswoman Kealey Dorian said Monday the project would open after Florida Department of Transportation improvements are completed at the I-10 and U.S. 301 intersection.

It’s not just the interstate that is attracting Love’s to the site.

“Highway 301 is a major thoroughfare and our customers have frequently asked for services in that part of Jacksonville,” Dorian said by email.

She said the highway connects Jacksonville to Gainesville.

Dorian estimates that the development would create about 60 jobs between the restaurants, the Love’s Truck Tire Care Center and the travel stop. The count could vary depending on the number and brand of restaurants that will open.

City Council is taking up Ordinance 2017-801 to rezone the West Jacksonville property from Agriculture and Commercial Community/General 1 to a planned unit development for the Love’s Baldwin Travel Center and Truck Stop.

The written description explains the project will comprise separate fueling areas for semitrucks and general gasoline and diesel pump stations as well as a convenience store and trucker service center, truck repair and maintenance facility and a truck weighing facility.

The address is 17110 Brandy Branch Road between I-10 and U.S. 90. 

Structural site improvements include a convenience store and restaurant of 11,263 square feet, a 10,000-square-foot tire shop and canopies covering the pump stations.

There would be 190 parking spaces for regular, handicap, RV, bobtail and trailers.

Adkinson Engineering is the project architect, planner and engineer and the developer is Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores.

Construction would start within a year and completion would be within two years of the PUD approval. Dorian said the company customarily buys the land after obtaining development approvals from the city.

Property records show the land is owned by Thomas E. and Terry Jo Braddock and includes a single-family home built in 1950.

Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, founded in 1964, operates more than 430 locations in 41 states, including 14 in Florida.

The Pecan Park Road store opened with Chester’s Chicken and Subway restaurants. The company said upon the opening the 24/7 travel stop also features seven showers, 82 truck parking spaces, a Love’s Truck Tire Care center, cardless fueling and CAT Scales for weighing trucks.

Dorian said the Pecan Park Road store’s general manager said that location always is busy. He sees traffic from residents and professional drivers, including those serving port-related companies.

“Professional drivers will benefit greatly from another travel stop in Jacksonville,” Dorian said.

The website shows there are 14 Love’s Travel Stops in Florida. In addition to the new one in Jacksonville, Dorian said a Love’s Travel Stop is planned to open in 2018 in Ellisville along I-75 south of Lake City.

The Florida Department of Transportation began improvements in February 2016 at the I-10 and U.S. 301 intersection.

The reconstruction is designed to accommodate increased truck traffic traveling north on U.S. 301 to eastbound I-10, according to the department’s website.

Superior Construction of Jacksonville was awarded the $65 million project, which is targeted for a 2019 completion.

The department’s site says the project includes ramps and bridges to correct existing deficiencies that cause truck traffic to back up waiting to make the northbound U.S. 301 to eastbound I-10 movement.

USA Quartz LLC incentives on City Council agenda

Legislation for Project USA Quartz LLC, a code name without the mystery, is on the City Council agenda Tuesday for incentives to create up to 70 jobs at an average wage of $49,920 in North Jacksonville.

USA Quartz LLC, based in Boca Raton, proposes to pay $2 million for a former General Electric facility in Imeson Industrial Park and invest $5.6 million in renovations and equipment to make quartz slabs used for countertops.

The legislation’s documents contained a few more insights. For example, a draft economic development agreement states and facility also would serve as a regional headquarters.

USA Quartz would import and export goods through Jacksonville’s port. 

The jobs would include IT and finance positions and generate an annual payroll of $3.49 million in what the project summary defines as a “state-designated high crime area.”

A performance schedule calls for USA Quartz LLC to create 30 jobs by year-end 2018, another 20 by year-end 2019 and the remaining 20 by year-end 2020.

As previously reported, USA Quartz seeks up to $210,000, or $3,000 per job, from the city and state through the Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund program, payable over four years starting in 2019.

The city would repay $42,000, or 20 percent, and the state would be responsible for $168,000, or 80 percent.

The bill is Resolution 2017-800.

USA Quartz said the incentives are a material factor in its decision to locate the new manufacturing operation in Jacksonville as opposed to another Southeastern port city.

The summary said the building has sat idle for several years. General Electric Co. owns an almost 62,000-square-foot manufacturing structure built at 10 Van Dyck Road in 1972.

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