Chick-fil-A to open in Cabot, but small shops face eviction – Arkansas Leader


Chick-fil-A restaurant is coming to Cabot, while some small business owners are feeling heartburn over the city’s economic development incentives and being forced to move.

A Chick-fil-A restaurant will be constructed at 801 West Main St ., next to the old Price Cutter building. The owners of the strip mall, LCL Real Estate of North Little Rock sold the property. The building will be torn down. Four small businesses will be forced to relocate.

A special city council meeting was held on Monday. The council voted 4-3, with the mayor voting, passing a resolution to provide $88, 500 from the Community and Economic Development Fund, as incentives in the form of rebates for fees, taxes and any other costs, in an agreement with New Urban Development Corporation to construct the Chick-fil-A at 801 West Main St ., next to the old Price Cutter building.

Council Members Maggie Cope, Matt Webber and Ron Waymack voted no . The resolution needed five votes to pass. The mayor was allowed to vote, because there is a vacancy on the council since March, when Michael Jones moved out of town.

The authorities then passed a resolution 5-2, with Cope and Waymack voting no, to sell a portion of parking lot at the old Price Cutter creating for $54, 000. The particular 0. 76 acres associated with land is pavement plus ditch along the former drive-through pharmacy side. The land was appraised by RGB Appraisals of Cabot.

The city purchased the Price Cutter building, the particular Sears Hometown store constructing, 905 W. Main St ., and their parking lots last year, for $2. 9 million, with funding from the city’s franchise tax. Franchise fees are collected from Suddenlink, CenturyTel, First Electric and Entergy.

The city is converting the old Price Cutter building, for $4. 7 million, into an animal support services and education center, a community pantry plus office space. The project was approved by voters last year during a $69 million bond issue special election.

In October 2021 the council passed a resolution 6-1, Cope voted no, to give $105, 000 in bonuses from the Community and Economic Development Fund to build a four-story Holiday Inn Express and Suites on 6. 48 acres of undeveloped property off Going Drive next to The Home Depot and behind the old Kmart store.

Mayor Ken Kincade told The Leader, “New businesses coming to Cabot is always exciting. New choices in a city that is growing is definitely a plus. I look forward to their presence in our city. ”

The Community plus Economic Development Fund will be replenished each year through business licensing fees and bank interest. As of Monday, there was $118, 642 in the fund.

Kincade said the city is here to help all businesses and business owners can come by city hall to talk about their economic development plans and needs for funding with Alicia Payseno, director of economic development.

Kincade said, “We want to keep people here, instead of traveling to Conway or North Little Rock for Chick-fil-A, shopping there and filling up their gas tanks there. ”

It is projected a Chick-fil-A in Cabot will have $5 million in sales in one year. The hamburger plus sales tax revenues collected for a year will be 18 times more than the money invested with the economic development funds.

Small business owners in the sold strip center are feeling burned by their landlord. They believe they should be the ones receiving community and economic development funds to relocate instead of a Chick-fil-A developer.

The city said the particular Chick-fil-A developer looked at 5 different locations in Cabot before settling on the remove center property.

The strip center is home to The Cellular Accessory Superstore for 17 years, In-and-Out Salon and Barbershop with regard to 11 years, Sandy’s Pet Grooming for 22 years and It’s My Party opened this year. Three other suites were vacant.

Cellular Accessory Supermarket owner Terry Ennis stated, “I’m not mad in the city for bringing in the Chick-fil-A. But why would you give a multi-million company $88, 000 and not give us jack to relocate? The businesses along here should get $22, 000 each. Financial development money will help all of us move to another part of the city and continue to generate sales tax revenue. ”

“Where are we going to go? There are two available retail centers in Rockwood by Walmart, that have space, but they have non-compete clauses with the AT& T Store. We are a T-Mobile dealer, ” Ennis mentioned.

Sandy’s Dog Grooming owner Sandy Sanford said. “It is freaking me out a bit, finding a new place and I don’t like it. We have a following of clients who will have to find our new location. ”

Head groomer Bailey Fitzpatrick said, “A heads up would have been nice. The homeowner did not mention it was for sale. Not a lot of places are affordable. ”

Naomi Bratton recently opened, It’s My Party event center and party supply rental business.

“We are not insignificant. How much are you going to offer us to move? I just sunk over $12, 000 in that building. How am I going to recoup over $3, 000 I paid a plumber to add a bathroom to that building? By the time the plumber got to the work, an offer was already made on the developing. I paid $1, 800 to the electrician to fix the particular lighting. I paid $1, 000 to the heat and air guy to make sure everything was up to code, after jumping through hoop right after hoop. Nobody from the town or the building owners stated a word. I had a finite amount of money to invest in my hometown, ” Bratton mentioned.

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