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Truck stop rolling Granger's way

GRANGER - A full-fledged truck stop is coming to Granger, complete with a Subway sandwich shop, Chevron gas station, laundromat, showers and check cashing services.

The city of Granger received $500,000 yesterday to help prepare for the project, which is planned for a location across from an existing Conoco gas station near I-82, exit 58.

Known as the Granger Travel Plaza, the truck stop will sit on 21 acres owned by Sunnyside resident Paul Sohi. He has hired John Booth of Kennewick to oversee construction.

The travel plaza, with a possible groundbreaking this November, will be built in two phases, Booth said.

The first phase, a 6,800 square-foot building, will be completed next year and feature a convenience store, Subway restaurant and truck stop amenities noted earlier.

That will be followed by a 5,000 square foot phase two building, which will house a Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken or A&W restaurant. Phase two is expected to be completed in two years.

Sohi said he plans to hire somewhere between 20 to 25 people when phase one is completed. At full build-out, the travel plaza is expected to employ 40 workers.

The city of Granger is expected to reap $125,000 in annual sales tax revenue once the travel plaza is at full build-out.

"When that actually happens, it will help provide basic services," said Granger Mayor David Leach. "That's what our city needs the most, an increased tax base so we can fund city services."

But to get there, the city will have to improve some services to the truck plaza situated between Bailey and Cherry Hill roads.

A total of $940,000 in public improvements is anticipated in order to make way for the truck stop.

During a meeting in Yakima yesterday, a county organization known as Supporting Investments in Economic Development (SIED) contributed $500,000 toward the public upgrades, which include road, water and sewer improvements.

Half of the $500,000 will be given to Granger as a grant and the other half in the form of a loan.

"With business expansion projects, smaller communities should get special attention," SIED President Dave McFadden told board members.

According to documents from yesterday's SIED meeting, it is anticipated there will be private investment of $3 million in developing Sohi's truck stop.

In addition to building construction, Sohi will be responsible for widening and providing turn lanes to a portion of SR 223 in the vicinity of the truck stop to accommodate additional traffic.

In response to a question by SIED board member Ron Gamache, McFadden said there would not be a signal installed because it did not meet minimum traffic levels set by the state Department of Transportation.

According to documents from SIED's meeting yesterday, the truck stop development will tie into and support the Cherry Hill family Golf Course and will serve 10 acres of commercial development immediately adjacent to the project.

The surrounding area around the truck stop will also benefit from increased fire flow from a new water line, according to SIED.

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