Buc-ee’s & Hines – Mass Timber Building Planned

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – (Realty News Report) – Supported with a $50 million gift from Arch “Beaver” Aplin III, the owner of Buc-ee’s stores, Hines will develop a mass timber building on the campus of Texas A&M University.

The academic center will serve as an immersive learning laboratory for students near the corner of Wellborn Road and John Kimbrough Boulevard.

The Pickard Chilton and DLR Group architecture firms will design the facility.

“The team has been given a clean sheet of paper to design an incredible facility on an amazing piece of property that will serve not only the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences but also the Mays Business School and the entire Aggieland community. This project is as good as it gets,” said Beaver Aplin, founder and CEO of Buc-ee’s convenience store chain.

In today’s world where carbon emissions are a major concern, building green is a priority.

A timber building has a negative carbon imprint equal to taking 2,000 cars off the road for one year.

With mass timber construction, instead of concrete and steel, the savings can be significant. In the construction process, timber generates around 50 percent lower CO2 emissions than concrete. In addition, timber delivers a higher insulation value

Hines has been a global leader in using heavy timber to frame new construction with structures called “T3.”

Hines’ “T3” brand stands for timber, transit and technology and is a mass timber creative product developed in response to evolving tenant requirements. The Houston-based company built the world’s first such mass timber office building in 2016, in Minneapolis, and has more than 16 such projects in the chute or planned around the globe, including Austin.

Hines is developing T3 Eastside in Austin, a project combining 93,000 SF of office space with 9,200 SF of residential. The Austin project is the company’s first mass timber project to include residential units, expanding on Hines’ timber portfolio of mid-rise office buildings.

John Mooz

“From our first meeting with Beaver and the A&M leadership team, it was clear that their vision of a living laboratory was a strong gesture pointing toward innovation design excellence,” said John Mooz, senior managing director at Hines. “This seemed to fit well with a T3 building endeavor. The inherent benefits and sustainable properties accelerate a dynamic learning environment that supports students in their academic endeavors today and provides for a long-standing commitment to the built environment for decades.”

Landscape architect Design Workshop will transform the surrounding eight acres on the campus into an inviting green space.

Hines has been selected as the development manager to facilitate Texas A&M Alpin Center. Funded by a $50 million gift from the owner of Buc-ee’s, the heavy timber “T3” academic center will serve as an immersive learning laboratory for students. T3 is Hines’ new generation of heavy timber buildings are focused on innovation, wellness and sustainability. The project is slated to break ground this fall.

“We are honored to be collaborating with Beaver Aplin, Texas A&M, and Hines to design a building that will transform an important place within the campus” said Anthony Markese, principal at Pickard Chilton Architects. “The Aplin Center will be an emerald oasis that preserves the legacy live oak trees and unites main campus, West Campus and Kyle Field. We envision a warm and beautiful timber building that says, “Howdy!” by embodying Aggie culture and traditions throughout and embraces A&M’s future by creating a fun, interactive and engaging place where Aggies will want to be.”

The Buc-ee’s convenience stores have extensive gasoline sales, large restrooms and food items. Photo by Ralph Bivins, Realty News Report, copyright 2023.

The Aplin Center will include outdoor and indoor student recreational space, as well as retail and food service areas managed by students and faculty through the educational programs.

The project will host corporate training and recruiting programs, along with professional development opportunities. Workforce training based on industry needs will be a key component of the center. Texas A&M is already exploring potential collaboration with industry for internship opportunities as students advance through the programs offered at the Aplin Center.

Primary academic partners will be the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Mays Business School, although other academic units will be involved in specialty projects.

“The team we’ve assembled is creating a facility unlike anything else in the country,” Texas A&M University President M. Katherine Banks said. “From the innovative building design to the function of the Aplin Center, students from many disciplines will have an unprecedented opportunity to bring their studies to life in a hands-on environment.”

The Aplin Center will offer a transformational student experience through new university programs in hospitality, retail studies and food product development involving innovative degree programs including viticulture, fermentation processes, coffee and food science. Product development laboratories and food tasting areas will offer collaboration with industry and experiential learning opportunities for students.

Aplin graduated from Texas A&M in 1980 with a construction science degree and opened his first Buc-ee’s in Lake Jackson in 1982. Around the nation, Buc-ee’s has about 60 outlets, which are large-scale convenience stores with multiple gasoline fueling stations.


June 14,  2023 Realty News Report Copyright 2023

Feature Photo credit: Ralph Bivins, Realty News Report 2023. Inside a new Hines T3 building in Atlanta.

Buc-ee’s photo: credit: Ralph Bivins, Realty News Report 2023

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