Graphic illustration of a typical Pilot/Flying J Travel Center

Pilot Travel Center coming to Island Crossing

  • May. 24, 2017 1:30 a.m.

ARLINGTON – A truck stop and travel center that includes a Cinnabon and Arby’s is expected to be built at Island Crossing later this year.

The nation’s largest chain of interstate truck stops and travel centers plans a new travel complex on 12.6 acres at Highway 530 and Smokey Point Boulevard east of the I-5 Island Crossing exit.

Pilot Travel Centers LLC, based in Knoxville, Tenn., plans to begin construction later this year, company officials said.The center caters to the traveling public and truck drivers who need easy access and lots of pavement to maneuver. The Travel Center will create about 70 jobs of which all but a few will be local.

The 9,520-square-foot Travel Center will feature a drive-through Arby’s, Cinnabon, PJ Fresh, retail space, outdoor seating, eight truck fueling lanes, 12 gas fuel pumps for cars and three for recreational vehicles, parking and a CAT scale for trucks and parking. Additional amenities include restrooms, showers and public laundry.

Based on the company’s economic impact study, the new Travel Center is projected to generate more than $5 million state and local tax revenues annually, with more than $200,000 anticipated to go to the city as sales and property tax.

The center should yield economic benefits for the city as well as the Stillaguamish Tribe, which operates one of its two River Rock Smoke Shops on the southeast side of Highway 530 and Smokey Point Boulevard, offering discount cigarettes, convenience store, coffee and espresso.

With such a large footprint, the project had to address several potential impacts based on its proximity to the freeway and location within the 100-year flood plain. The travel center will also be constructed to address safe fuel storage, and stormwater runoff detention, treatment and discharge from its extensive impervious surface.

Highway 530 averages daily volume of 12,000 vehicles a day. The center anticipates an increase of 1,605 new daily trips on average, with 106 new trips during late-day peak-hour traffic.Three access points will be built to serve the complex, including two on Highway 530 and another on Smokey Point Boulevard, company officials said.The city anticipates improvements for intersections near the development to improve operations to acceptable levels.

The Pilot/Flying J brand was founded by the father of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and chief executive officer Jimmy Haslam, who also owns the Cleveland Browns NFL team. The company is the largest operator of travel centers in North America with more than 750 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Arlington will be the company’s third location in Washington state, behind Ferndale and Tumwater, all based along the I-5 corridor.

The city Planning Commission unanimously approved design review for the project in April.

“Pilot Flying J looks forward to becoming a part of the Arlington community,” project manager Ross Shaver said in filing the application.

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