Cumberland Times-News

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November 14, 2012

Wheels turning for Love’s travel center east of city

CUMBERLAND — Plans for a 10,000-square-foot travel station off Interstate 68 near Ali Ghan Shrine Club continue to move forward.

Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, which wants to build a fuel station and convenience store at the site, commonly known as the Turano property, recently added more than two acres to its property with a purchase of $1,625,000, according to records with the Maryland Department of assessments and Taxation.

A groundbreaking is planned for Spring 2013, said Brittni Shull, a communications specialist with Love’s. The stations usually open about six months after groundbreaking, Shull said.

Earlier this year, the Cumberland Municipal Planning and Zoning Commission gave a green light to Love’s, which wants to build the fuel station and convenience store in the area. The Turano property is directly across from the bridge over Interstate 68 that goes to U.S. Route 220 at state Route 144, just past the Ali Ghan Shrine Club.

“We have not been provided anything official, but it does appear to be moving along,” said City Engineer John DiFonzo. “The last thing I saw was a letter and comments from SHA (State Highway Administration). It was not an approval letter, but it didn't look like it contained anything that would make approval unlikely,” DiFonzo said. Only preliminary plans were available, so DiFonzo was not sure about when the developer would continue moving on the project.

Site plans for the Love’s project include two restaurants — McDonald’s and Subway — as well as fueling stations for cars and trucks. Drawings show parking spaces for 78 cars and 96 trucks. The city has been courting developers for the site since several years ago, when a Bethesda company proposed building Cumberland Crossing shopping center, which was to include at least one national chain. Those plans were stalled after the economic downturn in 2008.

Love’s, the developer, headquartered in Oklahoma City, has more than 280 locations in 39 states, though none is in Maryland.

Contact Matthew Bieniek at mbieniek@times-news.com.

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