Buc-ee’s, a gas station with a cult following because of its eclectic mix of merchandise, snacks and clean bathrooms, has pulled out of its plans for a store in Fort Myers.
“Sometimes projects fall through,” says Jeff Nadalo, a Buc-ee’s spokesperson. “It’s part of being in real estate development.”
In August 2017, Buc-ee’s purchased the 158 acre-site off the eastern end of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and just west of Interstate 75 for a 120-pump station, but put the land back on the market several months ago.
“The on-site economics were substantially higher than originally anticipated,” Nadalo said. “We’re looking for sites throughout the state.”
The proposed Fort Myers location would have posed logistical issues for I-75 travelers. Northbound and southbound drivers alike would have had to cross traffic to reach the gas station. In-town traffic from Fort Myers would have had to make a U-turn, which isn’t allowed at the first traffic light heading east.
Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson expressed disappointment in the Buc-ee’s news.
“While we respect Buc-ees’ decision, we felt they missed out on a great opportunity,” says Anderson, who found out about a month ago. “I had heard they were looking at Tuckers Grade in Charlotte County. I don’t know if there’s any truth to it, but that’s probably an easier-on, easier off location.”
Nadalo would not comment if Buc-ee’s was considering Tuckers Grade location.
Buc-ee’s, established in 1982 in Lake Jackson, Texas, recently established a footprint in Florida with locations in St. Augustine and Daytona.