LAKE JACKSON, Texas — Buc-ee's has a target date for its first store in Louisiana: the retailer will break ground in 2024 and begin operations in the city of Ruston in 2025.
The planning process moved forward after the state legislature earmarked money for stage one of infrastructure construction to accommodate site development, reported the Shreveport Times.
According to Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker, a $6 million direct appropriate in the state budget will fund construction of a service road to deliver traffic to the planned Buc-ee's store. Additionally, U.S. Senator John Kennedy (R-La.) has earmarked another $6 million for the second phase of construction, although Congress has not yet passed the associated budget bill.
"Phase 1 gets Buc-ee's open," Walker said. "Our state legislative delegation did an incredible job to get the funding included in the budget."
[Read more: Buc-ee's Stands Out Among Retailers for High Wages & Customer Experience]
The city is seeking funding for a $12 million third phase of the infrastructure project to connect the service road to the nearby city of Grambling. This would "[tie] our two cities together even more," said Walker.
Ruston will contribute $6 million in utility upgrades along the development corridor, according to the news outlet.
The next step for the planned Ruston store is a traffic study, scheduled for later in August, which is required for final state and federal approvals designs for the Interstate 20 interchange and service road.
Louisiana is one of several states Buc-ee's has plans to move into. In March, planning documents revealed the chain's intended first locations in Virginia and Wisconsin. Buc-ee's anticipates opening a store in Virginia's New Kent County in 2027 and one in DeForest, Wis., located near Madison, at an unspecified future date.
In 2022, Buc-ee's broke ground or began operations in four new states: South Carolina, Colorado, Tennessee and Missouri.
Lake Jackson-based Buc-ee's has more than 40 locations. The retailer kicked off its multistate expansion plan in 2019.