Buc-ee’s coming to Fort Pierce? Pre-application proposal submitted for site
A site plan submitted to St. Lucie County could bring a Buc-ee’s to the Treasure Coast.
The area eyed for the project is a 33-acre plot off Interstate 95 in Fort Pierce, southeast of Indrio Road.
Benjamin Balcer, the director of the county’s Planning and Development Services, told WFLX on Tuesday that the pre-application proposal for a “travel center/fueling station” was discussed in late July.
Although those submitting the request didn't specify whether it was for a Buc-ee's, but based on the size of the project and the writing on the concept plan's bottom right corner that reads "Buc-ee's – Fort Pierce, FL," Balcer said it's safe to say that's what it's intended to be.
"Representatives did allude to it being a Buc-ee's," Balcer said.
Balcer said it's just a pre-application proposal, meaning that to be considered, Buc-ee's still has to make a formal application, at which point the county and its Planning and Development Services would consider the pros and cons.
"We're looking at traffic impacts, stormwater, any kind of negative externalities that we can try to prevent through site design, making the project a little bit better for the user, and that's really what we were talking about with the representatives during that pre-application meeting," Balcer said.
Talk about a potential Buc-ee's in Fort Pierce certainly seemed to come with excitement.
"Oh, have I heard of Buc-ee's! I want to go so bad!" Brancie Alsbrooks said. "I'd love it! I'm going to be the first customer, me and Sabre, first customers!" she added, referring to her friend and neighbor, Sabre Mochachino.
"Count us in!" added Mochachino.
“I dropped my daughter off and she said, ‘There’s a Buc-ees coming here,’” Kenneth Jackson said. “Whatever is going to come here that’s going to provide some jobs, I’m all for.”
Not everyone was excited, however.
One area gas station employee, who asked only to go by Heather, said she feared the gas station she works at won't be able to compete with the mega-gas station chain.
"I've been with the same company for five years, and we went through construction on Indrio Road, COVID, and survived, but I just don't know about Buc-ees being on 95, we rely on a lot of that traffic," she said.
Heather said she believes the privately owned gas station would lose at least 60% of its business and feared she could lose her job because of it.
"I want to be optimistic," she said. "But at the same time, I'm scared."
Balcer said it will likely be another six to nine months before Buc-ee's even submits a formal proposal, so don't expect to see that cartoon bucktoothed beaver smiling down on drivers off the highway anytime soon.
WFLX contacted Buc-ee’s for comment on the proposal, but a representative declined to discuss projects that aren’t finalized.
If it becomes a reality, it would become the fourth Buc-ee's location in Florida.
The first one opened in February 2021 in St. Augustine and the second location opened a month later in Daytona Beach. A third location is planned for Ocala.
Founded in 1982, the Texas-based mega gas station has expanded to states throughout the southeast with locations in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee.
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