MOODY — The face of the Brompton interchange is about to change completely.
On Thursday, officials from local businesses, the city of Moody and St. Clair County were on hand to break ground for the new Love’s Travel Stop, located off Interstate 20, Exit 147. Construction on the new travel stop is expected to begin in August, with a planned opening by early 2014.
Moody Mayor Joe Lee said the new center — along with a Valero travel center currently under construction on the opposite side of the interstate bridge — will “change our budget drastically,” for the better, including 75 new jobs and an expected 1 million gallons of diesel fuel sold per month.
“The City of Moody is excited about Love’s Travel Center’s investment in our community,” he said. “We have worked with them on their location for the past several months and we feel this will add new restaurant options and revenue opportunities on the Brompton interchange. We are glad to have found a new community partner and look forward to working with them in the coming years.”
The location is the eighth for Love’s in Alabama, and the second in St. Clair County (the first, on I-59 in Steele, opened in June 2010).
“I married an Alabama girl, so everything we do in the state is near to my heart,” said Bill Gleason, Real Estate project manager for Love’s. “The city and the county have been great to work with. We’re putting a $7 million investment into our new facility, so we plan to stay here a while.”
Both the city and the county agreed to tax abatements for the project — the city is rebating one-half cent in diesel tax revenues, while the county agreed to a sales-tax rebate.
“St. Clair County was glad to partner with the city of Moody and Love’s Travel Centers on infrastructure improvements needed to make this project a reality,” said Stan Batemon, chairman of the county commission. “We feel that the industry already on this corridor coupled with Love’s investment will only continue to breed new growth and revenue opportunities for the City of Moody.”
The Love’s in Moody will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will feature Subway and McDonald’s restaurants. It will also include a “gourmet coffee selection, a variety of fountain drinks, fresh fruit, name-brand snacks, travel items and gift merchandise.” This Love’s Travel Stop will also have parking spaces for professional truck drivers.
“Love’s is excited to open a state-of-the-art travel stop in Moody — our eighth in Alabama,” said Greg Love, president of Love’s Development Companies. “We’re proud to support the local economies in the communities where we operate, and we look forward to serving our new customers in the area with the ‘Clean Places, Friendly Faces’ Love’s is known for.”
All the infrastructure is still not complete — city and county officials say they are still working to secure funding for improvements to the road at Brompton, to accommodate the increased traffic. Gleason said their goal is to be open before Christmas.