Buc-ee’s, the popular Texas chain of convenience stores, has dropped plans to open its first Louisiana location in The Greens at Millerville development in Baton Rouge.

Jeff Nadalo, who serves as general counsel for Buc-ee’s, said in a statement the privately held chain needs a “critical mass” of stores to overcome the costs associated with expanding and operating in a new market.

“To date, we have only been able to secure one site,” Nadalo said. “As a result, we have decided not to move forward in Baton Rouge.”

Buc-ee’s, founded in 1982, operates 31 convenience stores, and the chain’s smiling beaver mascot is prominently featured on signs along Texas highways. The stores are known for their massive size — some top out at 60,000 square feet with 120 gas pumps — and super-clean restrooms.

Nadalo said Buc-ee’s does want to grow outside of Texas, and mentioned the possibility of stores in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. But he said the chain needs to pursue a growth strategy that makes sense for the business, its employees and its customers.

The Greens at Millerville is being built on the site of the old Fairwood Country Club at the intersection of Interstate 12 and Millerville Road. Plans call for 320 apartments and 393,000 square feet of retail and office space to be built on roughly 54 acres. Tenants in the development include Richards Honda, The RV Shop, Zaxby's and Golden Corral.

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