As Sherman continues to look south for the next big wave of development, the intersection of FM 1417 and U.S. Highway 75 has become something of an epicenter for this growth. One of the early signs of this growth is the development of large-scale gas stations at the intersection.

With Douglass Distributing and QuikTrip expressing interest in the intersection, soon all four corners will be used by competing fuel stations, making the area something of a gas corridor. However questions remain on if the intersection and demand is ready to support four stations in close proximity.

“I believe the market will take care of determining that,” City Manager Robby Hefton said in late May.

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Currently work is ongoing on Douglass Distributing's latest fuel station the southeast corner of the intersection despite nearly three months of delays due to inclement weather in late 2018 and early 2019. Despite the setbacks, Douglass Distributing CEO Brad Douglass said the 10-pump station is slated to be completed early this fall.

In addition to the station, the site will see Grayson County's first Pie Five — a fast-food style pizzeria restaurant chain — restaurant.

Across the intersection, developers plan to construct the city's second QuikTrip location following the success seen at its FM 691 and U.S. Hwy. 75 location.

“The first store has been dynamite and we expect the second will do the same,” QuikTrip spokesperson Mike Thornbrugh said.

The final two corners are occupied by a Circle K location and Shell station with attached Jack in the Box restaurant. Calls to Circle K corporate offices and the owners of the Shell station for comment were not returned by Saturday afternoon.

Thornbrugh said the upcoming QuikTrip will be one of the company's new Generation 3-S model stores. This will make the store slightly smaller than other locations in the chain while still retaining the same floor space for customers. The site will be able to handle gas service for 20 cars at a time with 10 pumping stations.

Construction is slated to begin in August with a March completion likely, he said.

Competition for the gas station will extend beyond the four corners of the intersection and encompass other areas of retail, Thornbrugh said. In the current market, the need to diversify and cover other aspects of retail is very important, he said.

“We believe, and have for a long time, that your competition is no longer just convenience stores,” he said. This mentality led the company to diversify itself and expand its fresh food service about a decade ago.

With the current demand and traffic on FM 1417, Thornbrugh said he fully expects the location to be able to support the new businesses on the four corners now and in the future as development continues.

“We already know the volume is there and will just continue to grow,” he said.

For his part, Douglass said his new Valero station will likely benefit from being next to Schulman's Movie Bowl Grille and will have a symbiotic relationship with the entertainment venue. Unlike Schulman's MBG, Douglass said the gas station is not a major attractor but instead benefits from being placed between residents and their intended destination, be that work or recreational activities like the entertainment venue.

“Will it (the corner) be overbuilt for 2020? Probably,” Douglass said. “Will it be over built for 2030? We don't think so.”

However, the market itself may shift the layout of the intersection away from four gas stations. With the growth taking place, Hefton said he could easily see one of the corners being redeveloped for another commercial or retail use even without the existing structure.

“In all parts of the city, especially near this intersection, land values are going up and it is going to be that way for the foreseeable future,” he said. “The land values exceed what is built there already.”

Do you think the intersection of U.S. Highway 75 and FM 1417 can handle four gas stations? Let local government reporter Michael Hutchins know at MHutchins@HeraldDemocrat.com.