TA Buys Willie's Place

Famed truckstop to covert to Petro brand in April

Greg Lindenberg, Editor, CSP

CARL'S CORNER, Texas -- TravelCenters of America LLC (TA) has purchased Willie's Place at Carl's Corner for $6.4 million. The truckstop was sold at the Hill County (N.J.) Courthouse as a result of foreclosure proceedings by SBL Capital Funding LLC, reported The Hillsboro Reporter.

Tom Liutkus, spokesperson for TA, told CSP Daily News that TA "will reopen [the Carl's Corner, Texas, location] the latter half of April as a Petro Stopping Center location. We will sell both gasoline and diesel fuel. At this time, we are interviewing former employees and new [image-nocss] candidates for our future operations. There are various teams at work putting together the plans for each part of our business."

The truckstop had been posted for foreclosure after a federal bankruptcy judge in Dallas lifted a stay in January. (Click here for previous CSP Daily News coverage.)

SBL had forced the partnership that built the truckstop to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last spring after it initially posted the property for foreclosure.

According to court documents cited by the newspaper, the partnership originally borrowed $4,750,000 in February of 2008 to complete the truckstop. The loan, from what was described as a "hard-money lender" in bankruptcy documents, was set to mature in February 2009 and was later extended to February of 2010.

Irregular payments over the life of the loan led SBL to start the foreclosure process, the report said.

The convenience store and restaurant at Willie's Place closed the first part of February.

TA, headquartered in Westlake, Ohio, is a leading travel center business in 41 states and Canada operating under the TravelCenters of America and Petro brands. With convenient locations on interstate exits, TA and Petro offers their customers diesel and gasoline fueling services, full-service and quick-service restaurants, heavy-truck maintenance services, 24-hour convenience stores, electronic communication (WiFi) and other services all within large, high-traffic facilities.