New truck stop planned for Story City
—by Todd Thorson
The I-35 exit in Story City may be expanding once again as Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores is planning to build a truck stop on the east side of the interstate, near the north bound exit ramp. According to reports, Love’s is in negotiations to purchase several privately owned lots south of Broad Street and north of the M.H. Eby trailer company. It would be located just west of the new Auestad Avenue entrance to the I-35 Business Park.
No final contracts or land purchases have been signed, but the project is moving forward. The truck stop would also include a Hardee’s fast food restaurant as part of its complex.
At last Monday night’s (Nov. 4) Story City Council meeting the first reading of a sign ordinance amendment was passed, which will move the project forward toward land acquisition and eventual construction of the travel stop.
The sign ordinance needed amending due to a request by Love’s for a proposed 456.5 square foot gas price indicator sign. The current sign ordinance limited the surface area to no larger than 200 square feet.
City Administrator Mark Jackson reported that Ordinance #240 would amend the Highway Commercial Sign provision of the city code by inserting this new wording: “Except that the city council may approve, only for a business located east of Interstate 35, one free standing sign that has a surface area between 201 and 475 square feet on any side”. The sign’s height, it was reported, would be around 90 feet, the maximum allowed by city code. The first reading of the new ordinance was unanimously passed by all five council members.
Founded in 1964, Love’s is a privately-held, family-owned business headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and operates more than 290 locations in 39 states. Annual revenue is estimated at more than $17 billion and 10,000 employees make up the company’s workforce.
Love’s currently has four locations in Iowa, including Clive, Davenport, Newton and Sioux City. Story City would be the fifth location and first along I-35. Clive is the company’s largest location, capable of handling 250 trucks. The other three locations are able to accommodate between 60 and 80 trucks. There is no report yet on how big the new Story City location would be, but currently all of Love’s interstate stops are on the larger end of the scale.
Along with the truck stops themselves, a restaurant of some type is usually included in the building. Currently, Love’s has a working relationship with Subway, McDonald’s, Arby’s and Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr. As reported, Story City’s location would include a Hardee’s.
The main branches of the company include Love’s Country Stores (convenience stores), Love’s Travel Stops (interstate highway travel centers), Gemini Motor Transport (petroleum fuel hauling) and Love’s Truck Tire Care (tire care and roadside assistance).