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New QuikTrip ‘c-store’ being built near Morrow

One of first in Atlanta market

Special Photo / A QuikTrip GEN III building is larger, and provides new features for customers, such as an area where they can order specialty drinks.

Special Photo / A QuikTrip GEN III building is larger, and provides new features for customers, such as an area where they can order specialty drinks.

It’s new, it’s large and it’s coming to Clayton County.

QuikTrip Corporation is currently building a new convenience store, also known in the business community as a “c-store,” in unincorporated Clayton County near Morrow, according to Clayton County Economic Development Director Grant Wainscott.

The c-store will be located on State Road 54/Jonesboro Road next to Kia Atlanta South, which is at 7310 Jonesboro Road, in Morrow.

The nearest cross street to the coming c-store is Battle Creek Road. “This will be a first new full-service c-store in that area of 54,” Wainscott said.

Clayton County Commissioner Michael Edmondson said the project is part of a Board of Commissioners rezoning consideration from earlier this year.

Mike Thornbrugh, a spokesman for QuikTrip Corporation, said the c-store near Morrow will be a new model, called “GEN III,” that the privately held company first introduced last year. This is one of the first GEN III buildings in the Atlanta market, and the third one under construction in Georgia. “The Atlanta metro area is absolutely fantastic for QT,” he said.

“This is the new prototype QuikTrip building,” he added.

Thornbrugh said there are currently five GEN III facilities in operation, including three in Tulsa, Okla., one in Kansas City, Kan., and one in Plano, Texas. The first four facilities built in Oklahoma and Kansas were tested last year, and exceeded the corporation’s expectations. The GEN III building in Texas opened three weeks ago, he said.

He said the c-store will create between 15 and 17 new jobs for the area, and it’s anticipated that it will open in January 2012.

Thornbrugh said the actual facility will be about 5,700 square feet, compared to a 4,600-square-foot, regular QuikTrip facility. “The other 1,100 square feet allows it to bring more product,” he said. “It is an opportunity, as we continue to grow our fresh-food business, to offer more of that.”

The new model will allow foot traffic to flow more efficiently, by providing two front entrances, two side entrances, and one entrance in the back for vendors only, he explained.

The building will also house a special area where customers can order hot and cold specialty items, such as coffee, ice cream and smoothies, he said. Staff members will be responsible for making these orders. This service is not available in average QuikTrip c-stores, he said.

The spokesman said the company does not share the amount invested in a project, but he assured it is a substantial amount of money. Thornbrugh said QuikTrip purchased the 6-acre property for $1.3 million. He said the entire c-store, which also includes the gasoline station, will only take up about 2 acres. The corporation will eventually sell off the extra 4 acres, he said.

He explained that the c-store will produce roughly $1.5 million of annual tax revenue for the county.

The spokesman said the location near Morrow captures what the corporation looks for whenever it seeks to expand its business. QuikTrip, he said, conducted its own market research, which revealed that the area experiences heavy traffic, is currently experiencing growth, and will continue developing, five to 10 years from now.

“It is an area that can justify QuikTrip now, in terms of volume, and we do think future volume is going to increase,” he said.

Clayton’s economic development director, Wainscott, said the county has been working with QuikTrip on this project for at least a year. He said there are currently seven QuikTrip c-stores in the county, because the company has a lot of confidence in the brand. He said the corporation provides a safe and clean environment for its customers.

“As we try to enhance and grow development in the county, new products, new construction help increase overall values,” said Wainscott. “Many of the fueling stations on that corridor are based on old models.”

The new c-store will provide more business to QT Kitchens in Ellenwood, a major employer for Clayton County, he said. This facility, which opened in 2009, cooks and sends out all of its fresh food to the c-stores.

“Developing more QT c-stores will allow for more business at the Ellenwood QT Kitchen, which is important to Clayton County as we look to grow more jobs and investment,” said Wainscott.