DQ Returning?

Aldi, Panda Express, Dairy Queen coming
Jeremy Nash News-Herald.net
Lenoir City Regional Planning Commission approved three site plans during its meeting Monday night, and an announcement was made on fast food restaurant Dairy Queen that will open in Lenoir City.

Commission members unanimously approved a site plan for a Panda Express at 185 Market Drive.

Beth Collins, Lenoir City planner, said the freestanding building will be 2,600 square feet and will be placed next to the SunTrust bank building. No timeline has been given on when the project will be completed, she said.
“This is a standard build for them, so I anticipate as soon as they get started that it’ll go quickly,” Collins said. “I would think that they could, depending on weather, if they pull building permits by end of the month ... that they’d be open by summer. Again, springtime weather is kind of contiguous with the rain, but the site is an ideal building site. You don’t have topography issues. You don’t have infrastructure issues, so it’ll go quick.”
Unanimous approval was given for an Aldi grocery store at the corner of U.S. Highway 321 and Highland Park Drive, which is the site of a former United Community Bank building. The plan is to demolish the bank building and place the store, which will be a little more than 18,000 square feet, toward the back of the property.
Collins said design plans include reducing the amount of curb cuts from three to one off U.S. Highway 321 and providing one entryway along the highway and one on Highland Park Drive.
“Of course, TDOT (Tennessee Department of Transportation) has to approve all of that in conjunction with us,” Collins said. “That will help the flow of traffic better. You won’t have so many openings to choose from. It’ll help the flow of traffic flow better in and out of the property.”
No timeline has been set on when the store will be open for business, Collins said, noting the process could take “a little bit longer” because TDOT has to approve relocation and closure of the Highway 321 entrances.
“They’ve been really — their process has sped up a little bit so that’s helpful,” Collins said. “And then you’ve got demolition on the site, which is going to take a little bit more time. So, I would anticipate that that’s going to be a little bit longer project, maybe opening into the fall.”
Board members also voted in favor of a Secure Pack Storage at 1325 Highway 321 North. Design plans show the storage facility to be built in two phases, with the first phase to include climate-controlled interior storage. Another phase, which Collins said “could be sometime down the road,” could potentially include space for automobile storage. Phase one could be completed by summer, she said.
The new Dairy Queen is expected to open at The Market at Town Creek behind Regions Bank.
A Dairy Queen restaurant was previously located in Lenoir City at the current Jet’s Pizza site off West Broadway Street. City officials are expected to consider design plans during the March planning commission meeting.
“They’ve just kind of sent me a concept drawing, and I should get drawings — larger scale drawings — this week to review,” Collins said.
In other news, the planning commission:
• Rezoned a parcel at 255 Highway 70 West from C-2 Commercial to R-1 Residential.