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New businesses show interest in city

Business is booming in Brookhaven with popular stores expandingor relocating and indications of several new establishments seekinga suitable location.

Food dominates new business interests with Ward’s, Arby’s, LongJohn Silver’s, Waffle House, and Huddle House all either openingsoon or in the process of purchasing property to locate.

“Opening real soon” is the message from Ward’s, which built anew restaurant on Highway 51 North at Brookhaven ShoppingVillage.

Steve Moreton, Brookhaven public works director, said thecompany is presently landscaping the location and trainingemployees.

Other fast food establishments are in the process of purchasingsite locations, he said.

“I did have a gentleman from Arby’s come in and they’vepurchased a lot,” Moreton said. “I think that’s a definitething.”

Arby’s will be located on Brookway Boulevard between Wendy’s andthe BP gas station.

“I’ve seen a site plan for it,” Moreton said. “It’s a prototypebuilding for them.”

Kentucky Fried Chicken has purchased a lot across BrookwayBoulevard from its present location and plans to relocate into anew building that will also include a Long John Silver’s, hesaid.

Moreton said he was not sure of the status of the development,but believed progress was still being made.

“I’ve seen some plans for a Long John Silver’s and KFC combinedbuilding, but I haven’t heard anything on that for about sixweeks,” he said. “That lot has been purchased by KFC for quite sometime.”

Waffle House and Huddle House are still in the very early stagesof development, Moreton said.

“We do have some interest for a Waffle House, but they haven’tdecided where they’re going to land,” he said. “And I’ve had a biteon Huddle House. They’re looking at a location on Magee Drive. Heseemed positive, but the land has not been obtained as far as Iknow.”

Also on Brookway Boulevard, work should resume soon on a stripmall adjacent to Wendy’s.

“I have a note that the work on Brookway Boulevard will resumein a week or so,” Moreton said. “I have not heard any names as towho those tenants will be. They’re intending to build to suit theclient.”

The Renaissance Group, in cooperation with Primetime Builders,will open the mall as a shell structure and customize the interiorfor each tenant as needed, he said.

Further to the west along Interstate 55, business is alsoexpanding rapidly with the opening of Brookhaven Honda’s22,000-square foot store nearly a year ago and the loomingcompletion of Empire Trucks capitalizing on the establishment ofHome Depot approximately two years ago.

The Empire Trucks facility is nearly complete with workprogressing on the parking lot, Moreton said.

A planned expansion of Paul Barnett Nissan in the area has beencanceled, however. Moreton said Barnett instead chose to renovatehis existing business.

Progress is also being made downtown, he said.

“There’s more downtown than we have ever had,” Moreton said.

I.C. Thomasson and Associates Inc., an engineering firm,recently invested more than $400,000 in a “pretty extensive”renovation above Dr. Spencer Mooney’s office on RailroadAvenue.

“Directly across the tracks, you have Bill Lofton above GlamourGirls,” Moreton said. “He’s converting the upper floor into fiveapartments.”

Other renovations are being made at Lampton Auditorium and TheHaven Theatre.

In addition, he said, Imaginations has expanded next to TheLocker Room.