Joe Wiseman of Harris and Associates has been placed on the agenda for the Batesville Planning Commission’s April 28 meeting seeking to combine the present McDonalds Restaurant lot with the adjacent lot at the Highway 6/51 intersection.
The one big lot will allow construction of a new, larger McDonalds with an expanded parking area.
The vacant building in the Commerce Street Subdivision on the southeast quadrant of the 6-51 intersection has lately been home to a succession of Chinese restaurants. KFC was the first restaurant located in the building. It also housed Boonie Mae’s.
The proposed McDonald’s expansion joins a number of commercial construction projects already under way or planned along the Highway 6 corridor through Batesville.
Elsewhere in the Batesville restaurant business Sonic Drive-In owner Lola Westerfield confirmed that she has bought a lot on the north side of Highway 6 to construct a new Sonic. The lot is between the Hardee’s and Popeye’s restaurants. The existing Sonic site will be sold, she said.
Westerfield and her late husband, Nathan Westerfield, came to Batesville in the early 1980s when they bought an existing Sonic Drive-In, then located across Highway 6 from the present Café Ole building, from Dave Roberts. The Westerfields soon built a new Sonic Drive-In facility at the Highway 6/Woodland Drive location. David Westerfield joined his mother in the family business following the death of his father.
Bob Leigh Realty salesman Brad Baker, who handled the acquisition of the new site for Sonic, is also handling the sale of the old site. Timing for construction to begin is uncertain, “in the future,” Lola Westerfield said. “It’s still up in the air.”
Dodge Convenience Store
Dodge Convenience Stores recently entered into a long-term lease with Fred Womble for the site where Shelter Insurance Agent Randy Boren’s office was formerly located. (Boren is now located on Highway 51 South.)
The lease follows the purchase by Dodge several years ago of the adjacent property where the Wheels and Deals used car site was located on the south side of Highway 6, between Woodland and Power Drives. As plans are presently configured, the convenience store would be located between the Exxon Station and the existing Sonic building. Efforts by Dodge to purchase the existing Sonic site to allow access from Woodland Drive have to date been unsuccessful.
On Highway 6 east of I-55, Guaranty Bank president Keith Buck said construction of Batesville’s second Guaranty location should begin in about two months.
“When the hotel was finished, they started on C Spire and Raceway. When they’re finished, the bank should be started,” Buck said.
Comfort Suites spokesman Veejay Vaghela said that the first guests began overnight stays January 27 and the 65-room hotel has been “going good” since the opening.
C Spire and Raceway are under construction on Convenant Drive, the frontage road leading from the intersection of Highway 6 and House-Carlson Drive to Comfort Suites.
Guaranty Bank will build a 9,000 square foot structure with 5,000 feet heated, Buck said. The new facility will house most local senior management.
Highway 6 West
Commercial construction activity on Highway 6 West also appears on the agenda for the April 28 planning commission meeting.
Batesville Compress building owner Danny Holland and Dennis Mangrum will present site and building design standards for review. Holland is converting the former cotton warehouse building into a classic car dealership.
“It’s a lot of tearing out right now,” Mangrum said, removing the old plumbing and electrical components that were functional during the building’s warehouse use.
Illus Visual and Design Arts owner Angela Clanton has planned the outside renovation proposal that planning commissioners will see, Mangrum said. Clanton has worked with Batesville Main Street as consultant and designer for façade renovations and remodeling. She also planned the renovation of the Wilbourn Building on Court Street.
Helena Chemical Company
Just off Highway 6 West on Farrish Gravel Road, Mike Rozier Construction continues work on a new Helena Chemical Company location.
Construction superintendent Eddie Muse said Monday that the contractor is building a 60 by 175 foot warehouse and a 70 by 30 office.
Helena Chemical Batesville warehouse manager Cricket Brewer said that the company is currently operating from Mike Amis’ building a short distance east on Highway 6 from the construction site. Helena Chemical Batesville location employees also include Tripp Thomas and Taylor Reddick as salesmen, Brewer said.