ASHLAND — A new Friendly Express gas station and travel center on U.S. 250 in Montgomery Township is currently under construction and plans to open in November, according to its owner.

The new station, which will stand across from Grandpa’s Cheesebarn and Fin Feather Fur Outfitters, plans to employ 12 full-time workers and three part-time workers, according to a property tax abatement application received by the Ashland Area Council for Economic Development.

Hiring will begin in the fall to prepare for the station’s planned opening in late October or early November. 

Friendly Express founder Larry Kane, from Jeromesville, decided it was time to bring one of his gas stations to the area he’s from.

“We’ve got six sites, so this is what we do. We wanted to do something at home, something new,” Kane said.

There will be 12 gas pumps for passenger vehicles and small boats along with four lanes for semi trucks to fuel up, Kane said.

The gas station will also have a 6,000 square-foot store with a beer cave, a “large wine selection,” and fast food from Champ’s Chicken.

Another large gas station and store, GoAsis, is currently in operation about half a mile away from the future Friendly Express on the west side of the US-250 overpass. As such, Friendly Express is ready for competition, Kane said. 

“Competition’s good, right? It’s good for the consumer, right?” he said.

The Ashland Area Council for Economic Development Council worked with Friendly Express and the county commissioners to approve a community redevelopment area agreement for the new station.

This agreement gives Friendly Express a 25% property tax abatement for ten years, Economic Development Coordinator for the Economic Development Council Aaron Pauly said.

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