For some there is concern, and for others, it's all excitement.
MEBANE, N.C. — Buc-ee the beaver has its eye on the Triad and many are all ears after the proposal was announced that a corn field could become a Buc-ee's.
For some, there is concern and for others, it's all excitement.
The Buc-ee's buzz really started in 2021. That is when Efland was supposed to obtain a travel center, but that fell through.
Makenzie Bollinger lives in Mebane, but grew up in Efland and even works there.
Bollinger said the interstate is what keeps drawing Buc-ees this way.
"Buc-ee's kept saying that the I-85/40 corridor was really their main draw to the Efland exit, just because they can really maximize two main interstates at the same time," Bollinger explained.
She voted against it coming to Efland because she takes that exit every day for work and didn't think the town could handle all the traffic.
Not only that, but she was concerned it would be built on a watershed.
Buc-ee's was considering a 104-acre development known as Efland Station, adding 120 gas pumps, 64,000 square feet of retail space, and add up to 200 jobs that pay a minimum of $15 an hour.
After reaching out to the Orange County Commissioners about why Buc-ee's didn't go through with building the mega-gas station, Chair Jamezetta Bedford said she recalls that the board of commissioners was concerned about the number of gas nozzles in the project.
She said it would have been located in sensitive water areas and there were possibilities of leaks from the nozzles to the cars.
Bedford also said they asked about reducing the number and that's when the applicant withdrew.
Buc-ee's sent a letter to the Orange County Planning Department stating that the area is "just not a good fit," according to our CBS affiliate, WNCN.
Now that two years have gone by, Buc-ees has its eyes on a new spot.
According to the city of Mebane, the potential location for the store would be near Interstate 85/40 in Mebane on 1447 Trollingwood-Hawfields Road.
Bollinger now lives about two minutes from where the new Buc-ees will be. She said she uses this exit daily as well.
Her concern now, the exit won't be able to handle the traffic.
"Right now, Trollingwood, out of all three of those exits, is the easiest one to navigate. Despite having all the distribution centers there and the two travel stations that are there, despite all of that right now, it's the easiest one to navigate. I can't imagine having a gigantic gas station come in there," Bollinger said.
Annette Kimery has lived in Mebane for more than 50 years. She said she's concerned about traffic as well.
She lives close to where the gas station would go. Not only is traffic a concern, but she worries the local gas stations and businesses will go out of business because they already struggle with hiring.
"This exit right now is not horrible, it's tolerable, but with adding something as big as Buc-ee's and as popular as Buc-ee's is, and the traffic and stuff that will come, it's going to get as bad as Mebane Oaks Road," Kimery shared. "We've got businesses here that can't stay open for their normal hours because they don't have the help that they need."
She said there are tons of places that are not able to operate under normal business hours because there's no help available.
WFMY News 2 reached out to Love's and Pilot to hear how they are feeling about the possible addition of the gas station.
Love’s sent a statement saying "Love's has been a part of the Mebane community since 2017 and we’re excited to see growth in the town. We’ll continue to focus on getting customers, including professional drivers, back on the road quickly and safely, setting the bar for customer service."
Others in the community are celebrating the possible addition.
On a Facebook post asking about how people in Mebane were feeling about the news, Sisi Rose said "Think it's a great thing! It will bring more jobs to the community as well as something new for us to enjoy! I'm excited to taste all the Buc-ee's signature snacks!"
Danielle Shepherd said "Cannot wait!!! The jobs alone they will bring are exciting! Plus, BEAVER NUGGETS!!
The Mebane Development Director, Ashley Ownbey, said it is good for the area.
"We know there is a lot of traffic off the interstate," Ownbey shared. "It is exciting to think of Buc-ee's bringing more people to our positively charming city."
All of this is still a fluid situation and anything can happen, but people who live in Mebane hope for transparency.
"My hope is that they listen to the community that they want to build in and listen to their neighbors," Bollinger said.
"If the county does decide to do this, I hope they open up a public discussion to let the community voice their opinions on the pros and cons of having it here," Kimery said.
Mebane officials and the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) are currently reviewing a preliminary site plan and traffic impact analysis. Once those are completed; it will move on to the Mebane Planning Board.
The Mebane Planning Board will consider the two requests and make recommendations to the Mebane City Council.
Public hearings will be scheduled before the City Council, and they will make a decision to approve or deny the requests.
If it does break ground, this would become the state's first Buc-ee's.
The hype behind the gas station comes for a few reasons. There are more than 100 gas pumps, their bathrooms are named the cleanest in America, and the gas station is considered the largest one in the world.