Dairy Queen eyes Ingles Shopping Center for new location

Published 6:24 pm Thursday, May 25, 2017

Individuals walking the Tweetsie Trail through Elk Avenue could soon have an opportunity to pick up a frozen treat in the coming months.

City of Elizabethton Director of Planning and Development Jon Hartman announced Thursday that Dairy Queen has the intention of moving to 100 Bemberg Road – where the former Firestone Tire store was located – in the Ingles Shopping Center. The business will be placed on the agenda for the June 1 Regional Planning Commission and should receive an OK, pending any concerns or issues from Commission members, according to Hartman.

The restaurant will have an opportunity to bring in revenue due to a variety of reasons. Along with Elk Avenue being listed as one of the busiest roads in the Tri-Cities, the property where Dairy Queen could possibly end up is also alongside the northern boundary of the Tweetsie Trail.

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Hartman added the ability to be beside the Trail was one of the items that proved to be exciting for the company. Those walking the Trail will have easy access to enter the building to purchase items due to the restaurant connecting with the Trail.

Thursday’s announcement continues a chain reaction of sorts for development for West Elk Avenue. Firestone was demolished the first week of January by Mill Creek Construction. The company worked with American Environmental Corporation to have the property ready for development.

As work continued on the property, the former Magic Mart building across the road was purchased and developed into Big Lots, which recently opened to the public.

To go along with the properties, Hartman added his department is working with at least two potential retailers looking to set up within the Elk Avenue area.

Growth is the name of the game for the development office. Hartman said he anticipates additional development throughout Elk Avenue as the roadway continues to gather interest from the public and businesses alike.

The corridor of West Elk Avenue will also be going through a little bit of a facelift of sorts. The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is currently looking at acquiring the right-of-ways to begin a project to widen the road, which is expected to take place in the next two to three years. Right-of-way work on the road is projected to get underway in fall of this year, according to representatives with TDOT.

Having the ability to make Elk Avenue more desirable with the widening of the corridor will only help in the future for residents and visitors alike coming through the area, according to Hartman.

Fourteen Foods is handling the development of the property. If approval comes in June, the restaurant is tentatively expected to be ready for the public by spring or summer of next year.