Special to the Review
The Athens Review
Gun Barrel City – After more than two years of negotiations, city officials in Gun Barrel City have inked a deal that will result in the opening of an Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill that the restaurant group says will open as early as April 15, 2013.
Steve Webster, President of the Gun Barrel City Economic Development Corporation, said “This time it’s definitely official,” adding that Applebee’s franchise owner SD Apple Restaurant Properties I, L.L.C., will build a 3,800 square-foot restaurant on a 1.25-acre property, directly east and adjacent to AutoZone on Main Street in Gun Barrel City.
“Bringing Applebee’s to Gun Barrel City has been a process that has involved real estate and restaurant professionals, dozens of community leaders, attorneys and our citizens. It’s something the community has been wanting, and we’re thrilled that we’ve finally achieved this goal. The EDC has worked diligently to ensure the opportunity is good, not only for Applebee’s, but for our community,” Webster said.
Applebee’s has agreed to purchase the Main Street property, and use primarily local materials to build the new store. It is estimated the improvements to the property could reach $1.7 million.
The restaurant group says it expects to employ 75 people when it opens, with at least 50 people employed at all times, and an average payroll anticipated at $460,000 annually.
The EDC proposed, and Gun Barrel City Council approved, an incentive package for SD Apple Restaurant Properties I, L.L.C. to provide a 1-time payment of $25,000 to cover permits, engineering fees, business registrations and paving of the property.
That payment will be made after the restaurant secures its certificate-of-occupancy permit. The agreement requires a restaurant of at least 3,800 square-feet.
Gun Barrel City will provide a rebate in sales-tax revenue over a period of 10 years or less. Applebee’s anticipates generating $1.755 million in annual revenue per year from the Gun Barrel City location.
Sales-tax rebates will continue as long as Applebee’s meets its revenue and employment targets, and until the maximum amount of $300,000 is met. The total package could be worth $325,000.
“The EDC and City have worked very hard to bring this deal to fruition. We’re very pleased that this restaurant group hung in there with us. This company has an excellent reputation in the restaurant industry, not only for providing quality food, but for participating in the communities where they have stores,” Webster says.
SD Apple Restaurant Properties I, L.L.C. is one of many subsidiaries owned by Sunil Dharod, a successful CEO, who operates dozens of Applebee’s restaurants and other businesses throughout Texas and the U.S.
Dharod says he is ”in the people business,” not the “restaurant business.” His says his main focus is on making the customer happy. He looks forward to working with Gun Barrel City.