AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Amarillo City Council unanimously voted to approve an economic development agreement with the Buc-ee’s Travel Center chain during Tuesday’s regular meeting.
According to documents from the city of Amarillo, this chapter 380 economic development program agreement with the chain will establish the construction of a 53,000 square foot travel center at the southeast corner of E I-40 and Airport Blvd on around 20 acres.
The project is expected to cost $30 million.
According to documents, the benefits of the project, per the city of Amarillo, include the following:
- New sales tax collections for the city at 50% of the city’s 1.5% for 20 years, then full collection after end of term;
- $275,000 donation to benefit community-oriented projects, civic events or other benevolent purposes within the city as determined by City Council;
- Including the word ‘Amarillo’ on the primary freestanding sign;
- Maintaining an annual membership with the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce;
- 18 square feet of community information kiosk space within the travel center;
- Make an effort to hire local contractors and suppliers to construct the project;
- New ad valorem taxes from a $30MM+ investment, with no abatement or rebate being requested.
The document states that the funding would be provided through rebates of sales taxes paid by Buc-ee’s, which could be around $4.5 million over the 20-year term, based on annual sales projections.
According to the City of Amarillo, Buc-ee’s is expected to hire 150 full-time employees within one year from receiving its certificate of occupancy, with those jobs starting at $15 an hour.
Andrew Freeman, Amarillo assistant city manager said that the location would be open within 15-months of the start of construction.
Freeman added that Buc-ee’s coming to the city of Amarillo will have a major economic impact.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to help put Amarillo on the map even more with having an even more recognized regional, national brand that is Buc-ee’s to encourage new travelers that may be bypassed Amarillo and took a different route and it really encourages them to come here,” said Freeman.
He added the net benefit that Buc-ee’s will bring to the Amarillo economy is $8 million.
Mayor Ginger Nelson said the Amarillo City Council also wanted to make sure they address the concerns of other businesses in the city.
“We are not picking winners and losers to succeed and we want to recruit more businesses to be a part of the healthy economy that growing here in Amarillo.”
Freeman said that location can act as an anchor point for other businesses to develop in that area.