WAFFLE HOUSE coming to Loudon City



Centre 75 Loudon


By: Pat Hunter

September 1, 2008


At Thursday’s, Aug. 28th EDA (Loudon County Economic Development Agency f/k/a Committee of 100`) meeting, the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors voted to recommend selling .63 acre of land for $169,500 to Waffle House. Waffle House has about 1500 units and this Waffle House will be a franchise.


The site is adjacent to the KFC-Taco Bell location. Sometime during the course of this discussion it was disclosed that the KFC Taco Bell site was sold for about $290,000.


Pat Phillips negotiated a lower price of $175,000 because he wanted Waffle House to build a brick exterior instead of block split, which would require additional cost. The Waffle House lot was part of the Taco Bell lot.


The Waffle House rep spoke about using concrete that looks like brick because it is not load bearing enough to support its roof top units. He had two different variations that were tall. The Waffle House had a total capital amount to spend. He countered with subtracting $11,000 from the purchase price of $169,500 because it would be more costly to build the building type of Phillip’s preference. Thirty-four seats and sixteen stations is what we call this particular design.   


Phillips spoke about the design guidelines, which should be harmonious and referred to Section 7 of the Centre 75 covenants, which call for earth tones, use of primary bright colors is not permitted except for accent colors, brick, wood siding, precast, stucco, etc.


The Waffle House rep asked if KFC currently have a sign variance and he was told that they do and Waffle House wanted to proceed with that as well. The covenants call for a 20’ but the ordinance calls for 30.’


There was a brief discussion about the 50’ McDonald’s sign. The McDonalds was not part of the Centre 75 and it was approved with a variance. Thirty feet could be a compromise since Loudon City’s regulations were thought to be 30’. The arches create visibility problems but there was talk of not having billboard city.


Kathy Knight said that the original cost was $200,000 for the ½ acre site. Loudon City manager Lyn Mills said that he could go with $169,500 with conditional brick.


At that time, EDA Chairman Mayor Doyle Arp piped in and said I have a question. In relationship with what we did for Taco Bell and what was required for them to do that, are we being fair? Arp was concerned because “we have a local guy” and did that particular thing and now you are cutting the price here to do something else.  Did Taco Bell have to comply with the same regulations, Arp asked; Phillips replied, yes. Arp said that he was 100% for Waffle House coming but that he did not want to “box himself” in.


Chairman Arp kidded around we’ve been sitting on this for 10-years. Arp was referring to the Center 75 Business Park  - White Elephant, pictured above.


The sale of the land must still be approved by Loudon County Commission. Knight requested that this be added to the agenda and Arp mentioned that he would add it to the Sept. 8th agenda. Loudon City must also approve the sale of the land.


This matter was not discussed at the August commission workshop and if Commission agrees to fast track this issue to vote to sell the land, it seems that commission will break its own rules of first discussing it at a workshop before taking formal action.