Love’s Mulls North Lima Site for Travel Complex

NORTH LIMA, Ohio – Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores has conducted preliminary assessments at a 15-acre site along state Route 7 south off the Ohio Turnpike interchange where it is considering building a new travel center, officials say.

Love’s recently performed aerial balloon tests for signage elevation requirements at the location, according to Rick Martin, chief zoning inspector for Beaver Township. 

Martin says that the company has an option to purchase 15 acres on the east side of Route 7 and is considering constructing a travel complex that includes a fuel center, a tire repair center, a national restaurant chain, a small convenience store and a large parking lot there.

“It’s still in the preliminary stages now,” he notes. 

The zoning chief says he met with Love’s Travel Stops representatives more than a month ago and they discussed their interest in the site. 

Love’s spokeswoman Caitlin Campbell confirms the company has “looked into the possibility” of building a new travel stop in North Lima, but cautions “nothing has been finalized yet.”

Martin points out that Love’s centers are usually partnered with restaurant chains and would likely draw a substantial amount of traffic from the turnpike. “I think it could serve as an anchor, and hopefully other restaurants and fast-food businesses could follow,” he says. 

A national restaurant chain partner has not been determined yet, he adds. 

Several hotels and restaurants exist in the area near the interchange, Martin said. These include Steamers Stonewall Tavern, the Davis Motel, Holiday Inn Express and a Pilot Travel Center.  

Company representatives told Martin that the company would like to start work on the project sometime in the spring of 2021 and have it finished by the end of the year. There were no details on the precise size of the complex or project costs.

The North Lima location would be the second Love’s Travel Stop in the Mahoning Valley, according to the company’s website.

The company operates a Travel Stop in Hubbard along state Route 62 at the Interstate 80 interchange. Love’s also operates a Speedco Truck Lube and Tires station in Girard, the website says. 

Love’s, based in Oklahoma City, boasts more than 500 locations across the country in 41 states and employs more than 25,000 people. 

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.