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Truck center plans to relocate

A new full service truck center is in the works for a long vacant lot on Fayetteville Road near Interstate 40 in Van Buren.

Formerly the location of Van Buren Truck Stop and later Rhodes Chevrolet, a vacant lot on the corner of Access Road and Fayetteville Road will soon hold a Truck Centers of Arkansas full service center.

Truck Centers of Arkansas has three locations in the state: two owned properties, one in Little Rock and one in Springdale, and the rented location at 1915 Industrial Park Road in Van Buren.

At the new location, the store will double in size - from 10,000 to 20,000 square feet - and add 10-20 new jobs, said part-owner Rick Vassar during a phone interview.

“We’ve outgrown that [previous] facility; this is the perfect location for us,” Vassar said.

With sales, parts and service offered at the new center, Vassar expects to bring in “a lot of business…a lot of commerce” to Van Buren, he said.

A deed was filed July 3 with the Crawford County Assessor’s Office from TRL Properties LLC, owned by Vassar and his partners, for lots one and two of I-40 Plaza subdivision. It was purchased for just under $2 million from David Neal, owner of Rhodes Chevrolet.

Construction on the new truck center is set to begin soon, with plans to move in by late spring of 2014, said Don Freeman, general manager at the current Van Buren location.

Though there is some concern about access to the location, both Freeman and Vassar said they trust in Van Buren city officials to come up with an appropriate solution. City officials are currently working with the state on the problem.

“We needed that location as far as size goes, and access to Interstate 40,” Freeman said.

Freeman added that the expansion is proof that the owners of Truck Centers of Arkansas are making Van Buren one of their homes.

“We’re committed to the area and by Todd [Havens] and Rick buying the place, that says we don’t just plan to stay in the area but we plan to grow,” Freeman said.

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