A new truck stop could be under construction on the south end of Madras as early as next month, pending approval of its site plan.
Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores Inc., of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, has plans to build a travel stop on U.S. Highway 97, directly across the highway from Hall Road, the Oregon State Police office, and Burger King.
The $11 million project, which will face east, will include an 8,390-square-foot retail convenience store on the north end of the building, and a 2,771-square-foot Arby's on the south end.
According to Nick Snead, director of the Madras Community Development Department, the developer and staff hope to have land-use approval for the 12-acre site issued by Aug. 21, "however, that depends on comments from ODOT being provided to the city in time."
"Construction should start in September or October," he said, adding that the Madras Redevelopment Commmission will provide some financial assistance for the project, although the amount has not been finalized.
The consultant for the project, professional engineer Brandon Johson, of SCJ Alliance, in Centralia, Washington, has been working on the project since the beginning of the year. He submitted the preliminary plans in May, and final plans in June.
The site will include parking for cars, recreational vehicles and bikes in front of the business, and 82 truck parking spaces in the back, where there will be room for a future tire shop on the northwest corner of the lot. Future plans also include an extension of Hall Road on the west side of the highway.
SCJ Alliance previously built the Love's Travel Stop and Country Store in Ritzville, Washington.
When the travel stop is completed, it will be the third truck stop for Madras, which sits on the intersection of major north-south and east-west highways — U.S. Highway 97 and U.S. Highway 26, respectively.
The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs opened the Plateau Travel Plaza, which includes a convenience store, restaurant, deli and gaming machines, in addition to amenities for truckers, in April on Northwest Cherry Lane. The Madras Truck Stop, which also includes a cafe and Shell station, also located on Highway 97, has been a fixture on the south end of Madras, for more than five decades.
Oregon currently has four Love's Travel Stops — in Troutdale, Boardman, Roseburg and Ontario.
Commercial projects booming
The travel stop is one of several commercial projects currently under development in Madras. In June, Dollar General, a Tennessee-based variety store, submitted an application to locate a store on U.S. Highway 97, on property owned by Parr Lumber Co., on the west side of the highway, just north of Brush Lane.
"The city is seeing an increasing in commercial development," said Snead. "Certainly, the Love's Travel Stop and Dollar General are significant projects."
"There are a few other commercial projects that may come to fruition, as well," he said. "In terms of industrial development, Sierra Case Parts filed for their site plan approval to double the size of the former Double Press Manufacturing building." Sierra Case Parts is located on Northwest Cherry Lane, in the Madras Industrial Site.
"Additionally, Jefferson County issued site plan approval for Daimler's next phase of development, which will include a two-lane loop track that is approximately 3 miles in length," said Snead. "This improvement will replace the loop track around the city's North Wastewater Treatment Plant that has been in place for many years. This phase of development represent a $9 million dollar investment from Daimler in track improvements, thereby making their total investments in the last 36 months to be $27 million."