Huber Heights reviews Buc-ee’s; store called tourist stop, deli, general store

Huge store with 120 gas pumps may be on Sept. 12 planning commission agenda as part of four-month city approval process

Huber Heights city officials said at a meeting Tuesday night they expect the formal pre-development process for a huge Buc-ee’s store to begin this month.

During an “informal review” at Tuesday’s regular planning commission meeting — described by city planner Aaron Sorrell as a “meet-and-greet” between the company and the city — Sorrell said representatives of Buc-ee’s are expected to submit a rezoning application and basic development plan as early as next week.

News broke last week that Buc-ee’s was expected to enter the Ohio market with a large store in Huber Heights, northeast of the I-70 interchange with Ohio 235/Route 4. Buc-ee’s operates 34 locations across Texas and more recently opened 12 huge travel centers in other states, similar to what is planned here.

Each Buc-ee’s offers thousands of snack, meal and drink options including Texas barbeque, homemade fudge, kolaches, Beaver Nuggets, jerky and fresh pastries.

The chain has a bit of a cult following, according to Business Insider, which called Buc-ee’s “a mix of a Walmart, a barbecue-centric deli, and the Texas tourism bureau, plus a dash of the Cracker Barrel general store.”

The plans for the Huber Heights location call for a 74,000-square-foot store — nearly 40% of the size of a Walmart Supercenter, which is 187,000 square feet on average, according to the company’s website.

Preliminary site drawings submitted to the city include plans for 120 gas pumps and more than 700 parking spaces on a nearly 53-acre site.

Approximately 35 acres of the site was rezoned in 2022 to accommodate a convenience store, fueling center, and heavy diesel repair facility, a memo to Huber’s planning commission states. For the Buc-ee’s project to move forward, additional land on the site will need to be rezoned to planned commercial.

The rezoning application and development plan documents could be formally presented to Huber Heights’ planning commission at its Sept. 12 meeting.

Sorrell said the company is also working with the Ohio Department of Transportation, which will complete a traffic study to determine potential road improvements that may be necessary along Ohio 235 to accommodate the development.

According to Sorrell, the entire rezoning process will likely take around four months from start to finish. This would include at least three public hearings during which public feedback can be given.

From when a project is approved, construction of a new location typically takes about a year-and-a-half, a company spokesperson told this news outlet.

Hiring generally starts three to four months ahead of a location opening and a 74,000-square-foot location typically creates between 200 and 250 jobs with starting pay beginning “well above” minimum wage, full benefits, a 6% matching 401k and three weeks of paid vacation, company officials said.

To give a little perspective, a 74,000-square-foot Buc-ee’s is more than 6,000 square feet larger than the former Kroger in Miamisburg and large enough to fit 12 Sheetz convenience stores inside it.

The size of the Huber Heights site gives Buc-ee’s ample space for not only 120 gas pumps, but also 24 Tesla Superchargers.