Operating nearly 600 retail gasoline convenience stores in a dozen states, RaceTrac Petroleum, Inc., is Georgia’s third-largest private company. But the Smyrna-based company is looking to be put its top-of-the-line signature store smack in its very backyard at the corner of Spring Road and Bell Drive.
“This will be our flagship store,’’ said RaceTrac Real Estate Representative Meredith McElveen. “This is something that we and the community are going to be proud of.’’
A few years ago the company was headquartered in the Highlands Industrial Park in Smyrna before relocating to a new office building near Cumberland Mall. Now they want to build a state-of-the-art showcase store just down the street.
A standard RaceTrac, such as the one on South Cobb Drive, features 20 to 24 fueling positions and a 5,000 square-foot or larger convenience store. The new modernized store off Spring Road is projected to approach 6,500 square feet and will feature a larger selection of fresh food items.
“We’re going for a more market concept,’’ McElveen said. “It will be a place where people can come in and get everything thing they need; a one-stop shop.’’
But it will not be a destination spot according to Smyrna City Councilwoman Melleny Pritchett.
“Our traffic engineer, city engineer and RaceTrac’s traffic engineer have worked out the intersection plans so it won’t be a delay for the people on Bell Drive,’’ said Pritchett at an informal meeting this week where area residents were invited to ask questions and learn more about the new store. “It’s going to be a pass-by for people to get gas on their way to work. I told (RaceTrac officials) that if we’re going to have a store on Spring Road coming into Smyrna, it’s got to be special, and it will. I’m very excited.’’
The plans are for the proposed store to go before the Smyrna Planning and Zoning Board on May 9 and then the Smyrna Mayor and City Council the following week. If all goes well with subsequent reviews and permitting, groundbreaking could take place in early fall with a possible late-year store opening.
The new store would replace a pair of older buildings that have served as day care centers through the years.
“There’s been nobody to inquire about the property and I get calls all the time saying ‘can’t you do something about those horrible buildings,’’’ Pritchett said. “This is our chance.’’
And it’s RaceTrac’s opportunity to continue its mission to be one of the leading gasoline and convenience marketers in the industry. A similarly designed store is also planned for the intersection of South Cobb Drive and the East-West Connector on the site of the former Home Depot Landscape Supply store.
“These will be a lot bigger stores than people are accustomed to seeing from RaceTrac,’’ McElveen said. “We’re doing all new stack stone trying to make the outside look like a market. It’s a brand new design and a brand new market concept that we think people will like.’’