Road Ranger Travel Center is coming to New Boston. It will be located on 12 acres of land on the northwest side of the intersection of Interstate 30 and McCoy Boulevard and will cost $9 million to build.
It will include a Wendy's, Tejas Taco and Dan's "Big Slice" Pizza restaurants.
It is set to be open late this year, officials with Road Ranger, L.L.C. said Thursday.
The Rockford, Ill.-based company finalized plans Friday. When completed it will employ about 50 new full and part-time workers.
"We picked Wendy's for the New Boston travel center because it has strong national presence, variety of food on its menu, is a recognized brand across the nation and offers lots of options, including healthy ones," said Marc Bourgault, vice president of engineering and planning.
Tejas Tacos and Dan's Famous "Big Slice" Pizza are the company's brands.
The travel center will feature a convenience store with gasoline and diesel sales, large parking spaces and services for professional drivers and long-distance travelers, including showers.
Lynn Davis, chief broker at Rip England Premier Realty in New Boston, negotiated this deal. He said took about five years to complete.
"Things got complicated as we worked out the deal," he said. "For one, the original owner of the Road Ranger company passed away during the process. For another, they were bought out by another company at one point. All this served to delay the process."
New Boston Special Industrial Board has been involved for about two years, said board member Kelley Branson.
"Road Ranger came to us in 2017 to help them secure this deal," Branson said. "We have been working with them since to help bring this about. They approached us first about this and we knew they were interested."
One of the main challenges in preparing the property was making sure it was suited for Road Ranger's needs.
"There were water and sewer lines running through the property," he said. "So this complicated things. The lines required a rerouting, so we arranged to have that happen so the property could be used commercially."
After that, the board made sure the property had all the supports and infrastructure in place to support a travel center.
The value of the property is about $1.5 million, which makes the total value of land and facility about $10.5 million.
"The board supported the project the whole while on account of the jobs and business we knew it would bring to the area," said Branson.
Part of Road Ranger's objective in placing a travel center in New Boston is to create a chain of its centers running north to south, from the Texas-Arkansas routes up to Chicago, Davis said.
"Right now, negotiations are going on with TX-DOT to finalize changes to Highway 8 to accommodate a greater flow of traffic," he said. "Once that is done, we should have a groundbreaking date."
Road Ranger owns a chain of travel centers, truck stops and convenience centers that stretch from the Upper Midwest (Illinois, Iowa and Indiana, Wisconsin) down to Texas.
"The area fits our network of interstate travel center sites," said Bourgault. "We are a mid-west company but have a strong Texas presence and we wish to expand and connect our presence."