Douglass Distributing has big plans for the intersection of U.S. Highways 75 and 82. Representatives with the gas station chain recently announced that it has acquired an existing Valero station which Douglass intends to plans to demolish and rebuild it to modern standards and designs.
The move comes as Douglass Distributing currently operates another station on the southwest corner of the intersection.
“It has been there for years and years and we acquired it about four or five years ago,” Lone Star Food Stores President Bill Martin. “But, the time has come to do some remodeling.”
The existing store was built by Roadrunner of Texarkana in the 1980s using the “under the canopy” design that was standard at the time. However, developers plan to resign the location so that the fueling facility is separate from the store, much like existing Douglass Distributing locations.
“This separation is important for our food service offering, otherwise it becomes another 'gas station dining location,'” Douglass Distributing CEO Brad Douglass said.
Douglass said plans call for the existing building to be demolished and replaced with a new station attached to the Lone Star Plaza strip center, located behind the existing station. The building would be slightly larger than the existing station with 5,000 square feet of space.
The existing building will be cleared to give more space for additional fueling stations, which would be able to handle 20 vehicles at a time, Douglass said.
For the dining option, Martin said developers planned to include a grill, but were uncertain of what food would be served. Unlike other locations in the chain, it would not be a franchise.
“We considered some franchise food options, but it is kind of in the middle of franchise food territory,” he said.
In order to build the new station, developers relocated Comet Cleaners from its home in the strip center to the opposite end. Developers custom built a new facility, including a drive-thru window, at the opposite end of the shopping center for the dry cleaner.
The new station will affect the other tenants in the strip center, but Douglass said it would be a positive move for all. With the gas station being expanded, he expects traffic to increase for all businesses.
The two stations, that are within hundreds of feet of each other, will compete for traffic, but that is partially by design. It is hoped that the new station will take some traffic off of the current Exxon location on the southwest corner once it is fully renovated, Douglass said.
With the addition of the new station, Douglass said both locations will be branded as Valero locations. Douglass Distributing recently partnered heavily with the San Antonio-based chain.
Construction is expected to begin once Douglass Distributing completes work on its location at FM 1417 and U.S. Highway 75 in the Legacy Village Development. The ongoing construction project has seen extensive weather delays that put it about 80 days behind schedule.
Once that project is complete, Douglass said he expects to move the construction team to the new location and start work immediately. Crews are expected to complete the work on the new retail station before closing the existing building.
What do you think about te ongoing Douglass Distributing development in the area? Let local government reporter Michael Hutchins know at MHutchins@HeraldDemocrat.com.