Thursday, March 20, 2014

Plat filed for McDonald's restaurant at I-64; developer says it would be key to getting the big prize, a hotel

Getty Images photo via BusinessWeek
McDonald's appears to be coming to Midway.

A plat including a McDonald's restaurant, to be built in the Green Gables development on the former Weems property at the southeast corner of the Interstate 64 interchange, was reviewed Monday by the Technical Review Committee of the Versailles-Midway-Woodford County Planning Commission.

Dennis Anderson of Lexington, developer of the property and potential developer of Midway Station across the interstate, has been trying to attract the world's leading food-service retailer to the site for some time.

UPDATE, March 21: "The McDonald's deal is still in preliminary phases. There isn't anything solid yet," Anderson said, but he also sounded hopeful. He said McDonald's had turned him down twice, but he kept asking and is now moving in the right direction. "They're a big bureaucracy," he said. "Them and Walgreens are the best real-estate companies in the world."

Anderson said he has been aiming for "big brands" that say "This is a for-real location" that can attract a hotel. He said the McDonald's would be corporate-owned, which is a stronger vote of confidence in the location than a franchised store.

Anderson said the long-announced Subway restaurant should start going up at Green Gables soon, because the franchisee secured financing last week. The approved plat for the property has spaces for two restaurants, two small retail stores, a hotel and a gasoline/convenience store, which opened several months ago.

Mayor Tom Bozarth said the coming of McDonald's "would be a good thing for the development," and will help attract a hotel, one of his primary goals for development of the town. A hotel is also a goal of the county Chamber of Commerce, which has little tourism-promotion money because such funds come from a tax on room rentals and the county only has bed-and-breakfast lodging.

Bozarth said the presence of a McDonald's wouldn't hurt Midway's substantial restaurant business, and may attract some interstate travelers to downtown who would not have come if not for stopping at the restaurant.

City Council Member Grayson Vandegrift, who operates the 815 Prime restaurant and tavern, said "It doesn't bother me as a restaurateur because I don't think we compete with each other at all." But he also said, "I'd love it if fast food never came to Midway. . . . I don't particularly love the idea, but I don't think it's going to take away from the charm of downtown."

Council Member Sharon Turner, who like Vandergrift is running for mayor to succeed Bozarth, said that when the restaurant opens, "Our seniors will have a place to go that they can grab something quick." She also said it would make Midway Station more attractive by offering a nearby restaurant to employees of industries or businesses that might locate there. A rezoning request is pending to revert 37 acres of Midway Station to industrial, from residential.

County Planning Director Pattie Wilson said McDonald's relationship to the property was revealed during the meeting by Robert Saylor, a consulting engineer for Anderson, when he said he would have to check with the company about her recommendation that the entrance to the restaurant lot also be an exit to allow people staying at the hotel to return to it without having to go to Leestown Road and turn around. The planning commission is scheduled to consider approval of the amended plat at its April 10 meeting.

On the portion of the proposed amended plat at right, the McDonald's lot is marked with bold boundary lines and a handwritten number 2. The entrance/exit at issue is marked with a handwritten arrow. The Subway lot is just to the north, across from the hotel lot. (Click image for larger version)

The location is about 9.5 miles from McDonald's in Frankfort, Georgetown and Versailles. The map below of McDonald's locations, created through a search for Midway on the company's website, appears to be based on a 10-mile driving distance from Midway and thus does not show more distant McDonald's in west Frankfort and at the Newtown Pike interchange in north Lexington.

1 comment:

Russ Robbins said...

I'm looking forward to Subway, but honestly any other fast food chain besides McDonald's would be preferable. Oh well, it's still progress I guess.