Buc-ee’s, the Texas-based supermarket chain that has developed a cult following since its founding in 1982, is looking to open a New Kent County branch, the company’s first in Virginia.
The New Kent County Economic Development Authority has announced plans for a 74,000-square-foot store with 120 gas stations, 557 parking spaces, 24 Tesla charging bays, and 10 bus/RV parking spaces off Interstate 64 at Exit 211.
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The site is currently a grassy area on the north side of I-64 across from the New Kent Visitors and Commerce Center. An opening date for 2027 is planned.
The chain, which is expanding into several states, is known for its massive retail, Texas barbecue, and beaver-themed merchandise. The company has locations in Texas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee.
“Buc-ee’s is open 24/7 and provides our guests with the cleanest restrooms and friendliest staff you could find, let alone on I-64,” the company said in a statement. “Buc-ee’s is not a truck stop; 18-wheelers are not allowed on the property. Buc-ee’s is a unique destination.”
The location will employ 175 full-time workers earning a minimum wage of $16 to $18 per hour, the company said. It would be the easternmost Buc-ee’s.
Matthew J. Smolnik, assistant district manager for New Kent, said the location benefits from its proximity to Colonial Downs Racetrack. The site is located on the busy route between Richmond, Williamsburg and Newport News.
“We’re unique because we have Virginia’s only thoroughbred horse racetrack and now we’re going to have Virginia’s first Buc-ee’s,” he said. “We’re very excited about the fact that this is a catalyst for more economic activity.”
The site is located at the same exit as the Love’s and Pilot travel centers and a $185 million AutoZone distribution center under construction.
The Virginia Department of Transportation also announced in December that it was working on a much-anticipated road widening for I-64’s 29-mile stretch around exit 211. A third lane to be added in each direction is intended to improve traffic flow for the infamous congested area.
“Evidently [Buc-ee’s] will target transient individuals, but it will also help with nearby shopping,” Smolnik said. tax money within our borders.”
Fran Milby, who lives in New Kent, said she’s ‘so glad this is coming here. The province needs something like that.”
She said her husband loves the beef jerky and all the different flavors in the beef jerky bar. She also likes the barbecue at Buc-ee’s.
“We said last Christmas it would be great to buy gifts. One family lets their children choose whatever they want, provided they can carry it all. It’s better than Wawa and Sheetz on steroids.”
Dana Caudell, of Mechanicsville, visited Buc-ee’s while traveling through South Carolina and said it was “super clean and organized.”
“When we left the one in South Carolina, I said I really wish we had one near us in Virginia. So it was very exciting to see this statement come out on New Kent,” Caudell said.
The Buc-ee’s development team is currently working with VDOT and county planning staff to evaluate the transportation improvements needed for the travel center, according to the county’s economic development authority. An environmental permit has been granted to the Department of Spatial Planning and Spatial Planning of the province.
A spokesperson for Buc-ee said the company has planned new stores in Missouri, Alabama, Tennessee and Colorado and two in its home state of Texas.
Photos: Buc-ee’s US Locations