Tribune-Courier News Reporter
Work to widen 5th Street in Benton from the intersection of Main Street to the Purchase Parkway could be several years away, but tenants of the strip mall that now houses the Subway Restaurant, Benton Chiropractic and Cash Express in Benton have already started making plans to relocate.
Plans for the construction phase of the widening project call for work to come within five feet of the entrance of the building owned by West Ky. Management Group and business owners fear an interruption in their ability to do business, with parking and access restrictions.
Cameron Hooman Taleban, franchise owner of the Subway Restaurant, recently purchased land near Walmart and will build a new strip mall for his business and three other tenants. Taleban would not say if the tenants are any of those located near his current restaurant, but did say he has already contracted with two other businesses and is in the midst of negotiations for a third.
Before winter weather delayed progress, construction was just beginning on the new 6,000 square foot building adjacent to Walmart. Taleban said concrete work will resume by Maxim Construction, LLC, of Paducah as soon as weather permits and he hopes to be moved within the next six months.
“It will be a nice new addition to Benton,” said Taleban.
According to Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokesperson Keith Todd the widening project is in its early stages right now.
“Right now the state is still acquiring property – it’s an ongoing target,” he said. “We’re focusing on the I-69 corridor project, which we were going to combine with the street widening originally. We hope to have the utilities cleared by October and a bid letting in September so we can really have the work going by the spring of 2015. It’ll be sometime after that before we really begin to focus on the road widening project in Benton.”
Doug Galyen, co-owner of West Kentucky Management Group, said he has been in previous negotiations with the state, but no agreement on the purchase of his property has been reached.
In the meantime, Galyen and partner Doug Henson have already lost three tenants due to concerns about business interruptions. Galyen said Miracle Ear and an attorney have already relocated. The Subway move will result in a third.
“The big question for everyone is parking,” said Galyen. “They are supposed to put the parking lot back as is, but that will leave an easement very close to the building meaning they could come onto the property at anytime.”