FAIRMONT — The people who want to build the world’s largest truck stop and travel center on land near Interstate 95’s Exit 10 told Fairmont commissioners on Tuesday that their plan hinges on their ability to find investors.
“We’re still waiting to get in front of the investors,” retired Gen. William C. Kirkland said. “This is not a done deal until we can pay the landowner for the property and pay developers we bring in to work on the project.”
Kirkland and retired Command Sgt. Maj. George Hogan, principals in the company Alb3 Consulting, Research & Management LLC, plan to build a truck stop with between 1,500 and 2,000 parking spaces, making it the “No. 1” truck stop in the world. The truck stop will not be average and will make the truck driver the center of the environment, Kirkland said.
Twelve days ago his company entered into a contract with Steve Anderson of Lumberton, a licensed real estate agent and developer in both North Carolina and South Carolina, to help acquire the property and find investors to move the project forward, Kirkland said. Anderson has described himself as the listing agent for the property and as the individual looking for major franchises to develop the property.
“We are currently allowing him, as you would say, to work his magic and make this happen,” Kirkland said.
Plans for the mega-truck stop include the establishment of a facility as large as 200,000 square feet in size with such amenities on site as a physician, chiropractor, optometrist and dentist.
Other planned amenities include a food drive-through designed to accommodate tractor-trailer rigs, a barber shop and nail salon, availability of state Department of Transportation physicals for drivers, a drivers’ lounge with theater, religious services, three restaurants, and a hotel that includes a restaurant.
Kirkland said the truck stop will provide between 289 and 315 jobs.
“This will provide a sizable income and security for many in Fairmont,” Kirkland said.
It is “premature to talk details” about his proposed truck stop, he said. However, he has made a commitment to Mayor Charles Townsend to put Fairmont residents first in all business dealings.
The town has not committed to a specific project at Exit 10. One of the obstacles is getting water and sewer to the area.
Fairmont acquired 300 acres around Exit 10, which is five miles outside of town, on June 29 when a satellite annexation bill was signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper.
Local officials are banking on the prospect that hotels, a major truck stop and restaurants eventually will be located in the area that is now farmland.
In other business, the commissioners on Tuesday:
— Appointed Cynthia Dudley to another three-year term on the town’s ABC Board.
— Gave Nedward Gaddy another term on the Fairmont Economic Development Committee. Also appointed to the board were Demetrius Hill and Kim Johnson. All of the appointments are for two-year terms.
— Passed a resolution authorizing the town manager to file an application for state funding of an inventory and assessment of the condition of the town’s wastewater system.
— Approved giving employees extra days off at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter each year. Employees also will now get their birthday off or a day of their choice depending on work schedules.
Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.