BRISTOL, Va. — A new Texas Roadhouse is one step closer to locating at one of the most visible sites at The Falls in Bristol, Virginia.
On Monday, the Bristol Virginia Industrial Development Authority board unanimously approved transferring a 2.06-acre hilltop parcel overlooking the center’s main Lee Highway entrance to Nehemiah LLC. That company is owned by the owners of INTERSTATE Development Partners of Bristol, Tennessee — the city’s primary project developer — and will serve as landlord for the planned Texas Roadhouse restaurant.
Construction is expected to begin this summer, according to Michael Hamlin, INTERSTATE’s general counsel.
“We’ll potentially close on this in March. We would start our work in about 30 to 45 days. We’ve got about a 90-day period for land work, and I would think Texas Roadhouse would be, middle of summer, you would see some construction started on their restaurant,” Hamlin told the authority board.
Texas Roadhouse Holdings LLC, a Louisville, Kentucky-based corporation, is expected to build and operate a new restaurant on the site. The company currently has locations in Johnson City and Kingsport.
A Calhoun’s restaurant was originally planned for that site, but the Knoxville-based chain’s parent firm Copper Cellar opted out of agreements to build a Calhoun’s and a Smoky Mountain Brewery in 2016, after a series of delays impacted the center near INTERSTATE 81’s Exit 5.
Board Chairman Paul Conco asked if the deed allowed for the land to revert back to the IDA if — for some unknown reason — Texas Roadhouse failed to open or opened but then closed abruptly.
“We’re going to have over $800,000 in site work improvements. We’ll have a construction lender. We will do our work in advance. We wouldn’t do that if we didn’t believe Texas Roadhouse was going to come in and build,” Hamlin said. “I don’t think the lender — unless they had someone who was going to pay that back to them — is going to allow the property to revert back to the city or the IDA.”