New owners purchase Boondocks

California firm buys property for $500K

-Daily Freeman-Journal file photo
The Boondocks truck stop/restaurant, which closed in October, has been purchased by a California firm that says it wants to reopen the business.

WILLIAMS — Boondocks, USA will live on.

That’s the goal of the new owner, according to David Whitaker of Whitaker Marketing Group, of Ames, which conducted the commercial property auction on Wednesday.

Anyway Logistics, Inc. of Fresno, California, and Gary, Indiana, bought the combination truck stop, restaurant, service station and motel sold at absolute auction for $500,000, Whitaker said.

Anyway Logistics, Inc. President David Dhillon did not return phone calls on Thursday, but according to the company’s website, it is a refrigerated and dry van transport business that boasts over 35 years of experience with a fleet of 25 vehicles.

Whitaker said the sale, held at Titan Machinery in rural Williams, drew a small crowd of about 15 area residents and several media representatives. Whitaker said the auction company registered seven bidders for the sale which also included pre-auction bids and a phone bidder.

Anyway Logistics entered its bid via phone.

Whitaker reported that the commercial property, located on 18 acres at the junction of Interstate 35 and Old Highway 20, drew national attention with over 200,000 potential buyers visiting the auction website prior to the sale.

Boondocks, USA has been an Iowa travelers’ landmark located at Exit 144 on Interstate 35 for nearly half a century. Boondocks was not only a gas stop with a restaurant for a sit-down home-cooked meal, it was a landmark to many of the travelers who drove through Iowa. It was a favorite rendezvous stop for Iowa State Patrol officers to meet and brief the next shift. For many, it was the halfway point for meeting relatives on their way from points north to south and east to west.

Owners Bob and Miriam Welch closed the doors on Oct. 20 after 45 years in business.

Whitaker reported that Dhillon toured the property soon after the business closed in October. After the auction, Dhillon indicated he intended to reopen the business, following updates and a renovation, said Whitaker.

“It won’t be the original Boondocks, but he will keep it going,” said Whitaker.

Currently, lawyers are researching trademark documentation for the legal use of the name Boondocks, USA, said Whitaker.

The closing date on the transaction is slated for Dec. 31, but the agreement also includes an option for a 2019 closing for tax purposes, said Whitaker.

“We had a successful sale,” said Whitaker, who noted that the commercial site alone was valued at $400,000. “We realized the highest price that someone was willing to pay”.

Past owners Bob and Miriam Welch were on hand for the auction and were satisfied with the sale, said Whitaker.

“I thought it sold well,” said Whitaker. “I think it sold appropriately and Bob and Mim seemed happy to be moving onto the next stage of their life”.

The Welches could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

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