Smiles filled the dais at Tuesday’s regular meeting, as the City Council approved a development agreement that will bring a Buc-ee’s to Auburn and spark development of Exit 50 off of Interstate 85.
“I love this town,” said Stan Beard, director of real estate for the Texas-based company. “I just wanted to tell you how excited we are to be in Auburn. This is going to be your Buc-ee’s.”
The City Council unanimously approved the agreement between the city and Buc-ee’s Auburn LLC to bring the popular gas station/convenience store to Auburn.
“We’re proud to have you here,” said Auburn Mayor Ron Anders to Beard. “We’re very excited about the potential of Buc-ee’s being in our community.”
According to the agreement, the city will remit portions of certain sales, use and fuel taxes to Buc-ee’s for a period of up to 25 years for the company investing about $45 million to build its fourth location in Alabama and creating at least 175 jobs in the community, among other stipulations.
“We’re glad to have you down at Exit 50,” said Councilman Tommy Dawson, who represents Ward 8 where the Buc-ee’s will be located. “One thing I can say is the overwhelming majority (of my constituents) are in favor of Buc-ee’s. I haven’t heard anything bad or negative about it at all.”
Beard confirmed that Buc-ee’s will hire at least 175 people, with the minimum wage floor set at $15 an hour, that there will be no pumps for tractor trailers and that charging stations for electric vehicles will be among the anticipated 120 pumps at the location, with an announcement from the company expected soon that it is “jumping into the game” of charging stations.
“We are not a truck stop,” he said. “We actively prohibit tractor trailers from the site. If there’s one section of the world that doesn’t like Buc-ee’s, it’s truck drivers.”
Buc-ee’s in Auburn is projected to generate $2 to $2.6 million annually in various city tax revenues, according to meeting materials.
The development agreement also calls for Buc-ee’s to donate $50,000 annually to community programs and activities at the discretion of the city.
“I think it’s going to be a great partnership,” said Councilman Brett Smith. “I know folks in Ward 4 are excited for the 31 different flavors of Icees, the wall of beef jerky. And really, the other customer service folks that have been to other Buc-ee’s, they mention the cleanliness, the customer service. It’s just all of that. I think it’s going to be a great partnership.”
“We just want you to come in and eat our beef jerky,” Beard joked later in the meeting.
Construction on the new Buc-ee’s is expected to start before the end of year and be completed at some point in the Fall of 2022.