Today is Thursday, August 17, 2017

South Mt. Juliet Starbucks work to commence in days

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The City of Mt. Juliet is just days away from lifting the stop work order for build out of two of the four South Mt. Juliet strip center businesses, including a Starbucks, according to a top level city official.

District 4 City Commissioner Brian Abston said both sides have been "tweaking" the contract "to get it exactly right." Two weeks ago the city reached an agreement with Boyle Investment Company to lift the stop work order on their development - which also includes Moe's Southwest Grille, China One, Supercuts and Edible Arrangements.

Part of the agreement to lift the stop work order was the city's acceptance of a $435,000 letter of credit from Boyle, as well as increasing their liability from $1 million to $10 million, among other conditions.

For the past nine months, the city and Boyle have butted heads over what the city said was Boyle's responsibility to build a rear access to the development. Currently, there is only one access to the site that is also shared with Holiday Inn Express.

During the past nine months, the city issued two stop work orders - the second at this time still in place - and Boyle sued the city to get it lifted unsuccessfully.

"Basically, we've come up with a contract on how it will go to lift the stop work order with their agreement to build an access and then allow two certificate of occupancies (COs) at the beginning and two more after permitting for the bridge [access] is completed," Abston said.

Edible Arrangements was allowed to open already because of its low traffic count.

The preferred access is a bridge, but the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation, as well as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, must approve it because a creek is involved.

The agreement is to lift the stop work order on Boyle's choice of two of the four businesses as soon as the contract is sealed, and then lift the other two stop work orders when all permitting is complete.

"We've agreed on the final wording of the contract and sent that to Boyle, and we are now waiting to receive it back with their signature," Abston said.

He said once the contract is final, he assumes Boyle will begin the permitting process. While Boyle has the final say on which two stop work orders will be lifted, Abston guessed they would be Starbucks and Moe's. He estimates it will take 30 to 60 days for them to be build out and receive their Cos. He estimated it would be another six months for the permitting to be completed with a couple of months for the construction of the bridge.

Abston said he's not "comfortable" with the prediction the businesses will be open for some amount of time before the second access is complete.

"But it was part of the negotiation process," he said.

District 1 City Commissioner Ray Justice proposed the amendment agreed upon to stagger the certificates of occupancy.

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