Marion County Commissioners unanimously approve construction of Buc-ee’s in Ocala
Fans of Buc-ee’s Brisket and Beaver Nuggets celebrated a milestone Tuesday.
Marion County Commissioners unanimously approved a zoning change to allow for the construction of a Buc-ee’s gas station on a 32.83-acre portion of Baldwin Angus Ranch in Ocala.
County commissioners approved a plan to build an 80,000-square-foot store with three fuel centers, 120 fuel stations, and a 125-foot sign.
Buc-ee’s is not your ordinary gas station. In addition to the usual convenience store snacks, the travel centers serve hot food, including breakfast, brisket and deli sandwiches and its signature sweet corn puff snacks called Beaver Nuggets, 24 hours a day.
It also has electric car charging stations, and the stores are known for their award-winning clean bathrooms.
The company has stores in Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee and Missouri. Each store location is massive. The New Braunfels, Texas, store currently holds the world record for the largest convenience store at 66,335 square feet.
Buc-ee’s is also known for its distinguished mascot: Buc-ee the Beaver.
All five Marion County Board of County Commissioners voted to change the zoning from agriculture to planned urban development for 32.83 acres of the 574-acre Baldwin Angus Ranch near County Road 326 and I-75. Each commissioner expressed their desire to be first in line for a brisket sandwich.
“Every time we go out in the community, we have too many car washes, too many gas stations being built.[There’s] not much we can do about it,” District 4 Commissioner Carl Zalak III said. “But everybody we talk to can’t wait for Buc-ee’s to be there.”
This is the third Buc-ee’s to open in Florida. The first store opened in St. Augustine in February 2021, and the second in Daytona Beach the following month.
Buc-ee’s fanatics across the state of Florida are rejoicing following the zoning change approval.
Ever since it was founded in 1982, the gas station brand has developed a large following. Customers show their passion for the stores by sporting clothing, cups and other merchandise with the Buc-ee's logo.
Sammy Vaserstein, a University of Florida student and a loyal supporter of the Texas-based gas station said he considers the commission's approval to be a dream come true.
“I feel like it’s the Disneyworld of gas stations,” Vaserstein says. “Usually, you stop at a gas station, and it’s part of a trip you don’t enjoy. But with Buc-ee’s, it becomes a highlight of your trip as opposed to the worst part.”
A South Florida resident, Vaserstein said he will be able to stop at the gas station while traveling throughout Florida.
While there are already two Buc-ee’s in Florida, this station will be opened in the middle of the state in a densely populated transportation location.
The newly approved Buc-ee’s will not open until construction for the I-75 interchange project at State Road 951 in Collier County, tentatively set for late 2025, is completed.