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A travel center is coming to the Orangeburg area.

Oklahoma-based QuikTrip Corporation, more commonly known as QT, is planning to invest $7 million on a travel center near the Orangeburg County/City Industrial Park at the U.S. 301 and Interstate 26 interchange.

"This will add a lot of value to 301," Orangeburg County Development Commission Executive Director Gregg Robinson said.

In addition to adding additional food services near the park, it will help improve the interchange’s presence as a gateway to the community, he said.

Robinson announced the new business Monday night at the quarterly meeting of The One Orangeburg County Initiative.

The QuikTrip center will be located directly across from Love's Travel Plaza. It will employ between 20 and 25 people.

Robinson said the county is working with QT and the S.C. Department of Transportation to determine what road changes are needed to accommodate the project.

QuikTrip spokesman Mike Thornbrugh said the company is going through the permitting process. He was unable to say when construction will begin or when the center will open.

"We assume a pretty smooth permitting deal," Thornbrugh said. The company wants to get the project “up and operational as soon as possible."

Thornbrugh said the travel center will be QuikTrip's new model Generation 3 facility, which includes a QT kitchen area where food such as pizzas, flatbreads and toasted sandwiches can be made.

The center, which will occupy six acres, will also include a gas station with eight pumps that will be able to service 16 vehicles at the same time. The center will also have six to eight truck bays.

"It is a beautiful spot," Thornbrugh said. "We really think the area is underserved and we think we can bring our model and our culture."

Currently, QT operates 38 stores in the state with most in the Upstate. There are no other QuikTrip stores in The T&D Region.

QT is a privately held company based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The $11 billion company has about 800 stores in eleven states and employs about 23,000.

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Contact the writer: gzaleski@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5551. Check out Zaleski on Twitter at @ZaleskiTD.

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Staff Writer

Gene Zaleski is a reporter/staff writer with The Times and Democrat.

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