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Restaurant, other projects under way in community

People who have been waiting for an all-night restaurant shouldbe happy to know that the Waffle House project has begun.

City Director of Public Works Steve Moreton said he’s glad tosee the project under way, as the slab has been laid on BrookwayBoulevard. The Waffle House will sit on the east side of McDonald’sin the fenced-in area where construction has begun takingplace.

“They finally started,” he said. “They’re going to remove theold parking lot, put in a new building and do a new parkinglot.”

Moreton said it’s too early in the project to indicate when thebuilding will actually be finished, but that he’s pleased to haveit under way.

In other construction news, the strip mall being built behindWendy’s and the BP station on Brookway Boulevard is also takingshape, and Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce ExecutiveVice President Cliff Brumfield said prospective tenants are beingcourted.

“The developers are working hard at marketing the center andwe’re ready to work with any prospective tenants in makingBrookhaven a future home for their business,” he said. “But we arenot aware of any definite decisions.”

Moreton said he has not heard anything about tenants either, butthere is quite a bit of speculation. All he can verify, he said, isthe actual construction.

“I don’t know about anchor stores if they have any yet, but Iknow they’re putting up the shell, working on the parking lot,getting the infrastructure up and all that,” he said. “There are alot of rumors floating around, but I have no idea about anchorstores.”

Brumfield said finding tenants now could be tricky asnationwide, the retail market is suffering, but economists projectan upswing.

“The current trend in retail locations is that there’s verylittle activity due to economy, there’s more of an out migration,”he said. “But here in Lincoln County, our retail market continuesto be strong.”

Moreton said the strip mall will be built to accommodatepossibly 20 or more tenants, but that as they come in, the storespace will be customized to their needs.

“They’ll put a roof on it, and walls, and when they get atenant, if somebody wanted to take up three spots, they’d sectionit off as needed for the client,” Moreton said.

Brumfield said hopefully tenants will begin to materialize forcertain when the economy rebounds.

“It looks as though the timing may work out so the center’scompletion may coincide with the projected economic upswing thathas been predicted by many economists,” he said. “That’s expectedto be in the latter part of 2008 or early 2009.”

Moreton said a pre-bid conference will be held today forprojects set to begin soon on water and sewer work in the citylimits. Sewer bids will open May 12.

In addition, he said, bids will be opened June 5 for roads andinfrastructure in Linbrook Business Park.