“We’re probably a month or six weeks away from opening out there,” said Don Lewis, a partner with Marketplace Investments in Chattanooga.
Construction work on the project was delayed after the April storms. Lewis said many of the subcontractors working on his project in Rome work at other Waffle House franchisees and had to pull off to take care of damages to other stores, notably the location in Ringgold.
“That threw a monkey wrench in our schedule,” Lewis said.
Fire seriously damaged the building on Turner McCall last Aug. 28.
The new store is being built a little larger than the typical Waffle house and Lewis suggested it might employ seven or eight more workers than the typical Waffle House, which generally has 25-30 workers.
Last October, Lewis said the company had made the decision to build in the new location. The lack of parking at the Turner McCall site was the primary reason he cited for the decision to relocate.
The Turner McCall site was leased from Rome businessman William E. “Billy” Johnson for many years before Marketplace Investments bought the property for $200,000.
Lewis said the electrical subcontractor at the new restaurant would work to upgrade the electrical system at the Turner McCall location.
“We’ve tried to get it cleaned out and take care of the fire damage but plans for that location are still in limbo,” he said.
Marketplace Investments owns both of the other Waffle House locations in Rome, at 2903 Martha Berry Highway near Mount Berry Square, and at 1601 Shorter Ave. in West Rome.