Chick-fil-A adding to the Tax Base

January 15, 2014

Fast food restaurant Chick-fil-A is officially coming to Lenoir City.

A property transfer from the Loudon County Register of Deeds shows MSM Development LLC handing over the warranty deed for the former Panda Buffet property, lot 1, to Chick-fil-A for more than $1.2 million.

Mike Morris, a broker for Atlanta-based Morris Investments Inc., said searching for a location in the community had been going on for “several years.” He said Chick-fil-A wanted to be near Interstate 75 and accessible to the community.

“We’ve been looking in that area for several years and looking at a variety of opportunities and just nothing made any sense except this particular one, so this is the one we pursued,” he said. “… They (Chick-fil-A) like to go where there’s a lot of retail in the area to take advantage of the synergism created by the retail and be accessible to the population they’re trying to serve.”

Lenoir City Assistant Codes Enforcement Officer Beth Collins said a building permit was issued Dec. 20 to Knoxville-based Richardson Turner Construction General Contractors.

RTC General Contractors Project Manager Chester Carbaugh said workersbegan demolition Monday. The project, including the construction phase, is expected to be complete sometime in May, he said.

Loudon County Trustee Chip Miller said the restaurant had been searching in the area for at least seven years.

“I think they’re a good family oriented company and from what I can tell, they’re � in every community that they’ve been involved in they’re good corporate citizens and I think that they will do well there and maybe fill a fast food void at the interstate that we currently might have, and add to our tax base,” Miller said.

“You know, that’s one of my things,” he said. “We’re trying to increase our tax base and keep our tax rates as low as possible. I think they will do well in sales and help Lenoir City in sales tax.”

Kristen Ferretti, Chick-fil-A development consultant, said Justin Young will be the operator in Lenoir City. Ferretti could offer no further information about Young or the location’s timetable for opening.

“In the five years that I’ve been here, it’s the No. 1 asked for business of that type, so I anticipate them doing very well here,” Collins said.