Grand opening for Love’s, IHOP Express in South Jax expected in January

By Ryne Turke on June 25, 2016 at 8:46am

A new gas station and restaurant in South Jacksonville could be up and running by January of 2017.

Construction crews from Kentucky-based Buffalo Construction have been disking the ground and hauling in clay this week for the location designated for Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores and IHOP Express.

Code Enforcement Officer Wilbur German says crews got a late start on the project, but have been hard at work to make up for lost time.

“They are looking at July 8th for putting the footing on the building. By that point they will have most everything else relayed out. July 18th they would start to do the excavation for the fuel tanks. In the next 30 to 60 days, people will see a lot of activity and at least be able to see something is emerging out of that field,” says German.

Construction for Love’s is taking place on three acres of land at 288 Moeller Road, but German notes a new street, which will be renamed Love’s Drive, will be built in the near future.

“The road is going to stay in place and be allowed to deteriorate over time. All the utilities for the Illinois Rural Electric and some of the fiber optics are located along that road. That will stay in place, but will only have access to the utility companies. Eventually, Moeller Road will be tied down on the south end with the new Magnolia, which will run south all the way to Moeller,” says German.

Contracts for the road work will go out next week, according to German.

German says additional land has been set aside for the Village of South Jacksonville to construct a new water tower.

Trustees unanimously approved a tax increment financing agreement in April, which allows Love’s to recoup 65-percent of the taxing body two years from now.