A Chattanooga developer has started work on a trio of restaurants near Signal Mountain which are slated to be up and running by mid-summer.
A Zaxby's, a Baskin-Robbins and another unidentified restaurant new to the market are going up on Signal Mountain Road, said Shannon Brown, managing partner of D&B Holdings and Development.
He expects the three standalone restaurants to draw patrons from downtown, Signal Mountain, Red Bank and the Mountain Creek Road areas.
"The demographics are amazing," Brown said.
Brown put the project near the area's Walmart at between $3 million and $4 million. The eateries will employ about 65 employees and create an estimated $1.6 million payroll, the developer said.
Jeff Jennings of NAI Charter Real Estate Corp., which worked on the land sale, said the restaurant companies know the importance of choosing the right sites.
"These brands understand site selection and are well positioned to capture a great segment of this underserved market," he said.
The 3,400-square-foot Zaxby's will hold about 75 people, said Brown, who added that he already has put up five other Zaxby's in the area.
Brown said the Baskin-Robbins eatery will be only the sixth such standalone unit of its design nationally. At about 1,650 square feet, it will seat about 30 people inside and have an outside patio, he said.
The third restaurant, which he wouldn't immediately name, will offer traditional sandwiches, Brown said.
The empty 1.8-acre tract will have three entrances, he said. Due to its location on a curve, the city is calling for installation of a barrier, what he termed "a cross block mountable curb system," on Signal Mountain Road to discourage a left turn at one of the entrances.
An engineer by training, Brown said he has a passion for "seeing things built." At the same time, entrepreneurship runs in his family, he said.
The developer said gaining city regulatory approvals for the project slowed it down, adding the eateries could have been up in February or March.