The long-planned $7.5 million Love’s Travel Stop near the Interstate 70 and Ohio 41 interchange is expected to begin construction next month.
Projects of similar size are typically completed in about 10 months, said Kealey Dorian, a media specialist for Love’s.
The project will be key for both the interchange and the development of the nearby $8 million Prime Ohio II industrial park, said Horton Hobbs, vice president for economic development at The Chamber of Greater Springfield.
“It will finally prove to people that that intersection is coming to life again and the park is coming alive,” Hobbs said. “It’s been a long time coming, but we’re really excited.”
The construction was expected to begin in April of 2015, but an access agreement for a cell phone tower near the property delayed the development, Dorian told the News-Sun in September.
The approximately 20-acre project is expected to bring as many as 60 jobs to Clark County next year. A Subway restaurant has been confirmed for the location, said Dorian.
It could include Wendy’s in addition to Subway, according to concept drawings as part of the application’s plans, as well as a 90-foot digital pricing sign.
The location is also expected to be open 24 hours per day and have 100 truck parking spots. The travel stop may also have a tire truck care location, according to the documents.
Love’s purchased 5.2 acres of property at 4725 S. Charleston Pike in September of 2013 for $566,000, the site of the former Prime Fuel truck stop. The company also purchased 15 acres of farmland near the Prime Ohio II Industrial Park from the Community Improvement Corporation of Springfield and Clark County for about $1.1 million last year.
The money from the sale was used to purchase additional ground for the industrial park, Hobbs said.
“It’s a really important prospect for the park,” Hobbs said. “Having them there really helped make the land purchase work for the rest of the park.”
The plans for the truck stop were conditionally approved by Springfield’s planning department last week, said Administrator Stephen Thompson. The plans were revised eight times, Thompson said.
“Every time we would submit comments, it would just take them awhile to get back to us,” Thompson said.
The development will support Prime Ohio II, as well as Prime Ohio I and nearby businesses on Laybourne Road, Hobbs said. With no truck stop, semi-trailers will often line up along Ohio 41 in the evening as they wait to enter nearby plants, such as Dole or Aldi. It will also create a convenient stop along the interstate for the 60,000 people who drive daily on Interstate 70, Hobbs said.
“It’s a win-win,” Hobbs said. “It’s smart growth. It’s right there at the interchange in development areas where we’ve planned and put in infrastructure. It’s thoughtful development.”