New Kent Buc-ee’s awaiting road improvements as another Virginia store breaks ground (, 2.9.24)

After potentially becoming the first Virginia locality to open a Buc-ee’s convenience store and gas station, New Kent County will have to settle for runner-up.

The rebuilding of the Interstate 64 and state Route 609 interchange at Exit 211 is the main project in need of completion to clear the way for the Buc-ee’s store to be built. The I-64 widening project will also supplement traffic flow in the area.

New Kent Assistant County Administrator Matthew Smolnik said the county’s goal is to have the interchange, I-64 and Buc-ee’s projects completed around the same time, which could occur in 2026 or 2027.

The timeline has paved the way for Rockingham County to take the pole position in the race to open Virginia’s first Buc-ee’s.

Last June, a groundbreaking event in New Kent appeared to be on the horizon following an announcement by S.L. Nusbaum Realty Co., the real estate firm that is handling site work at the New Kent location.

However, a date will not be set until the road improvement plans are finalized. According to Nathan Shor, senior vice president of S.L. Nusbaum Realty, New Kent’s hopes of hosting the first Buc-ee’s in the state was more of a point of pride than a realistic scenario.

“(Buc-ee’s) is very excited about New Kent,” Shor said. “But it’s important that you have the infrastructure in place for everybody’s sake.”

The New Kent store will be on 27 acres of land that was purchased by Buc-ee’s New Kent LLC for $6.5 million. According to Shor, Buc-ee’s stores typically take 15 to 18 months to build.

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