Note: This headline of the story has been updated with information from the franchise owner about the opening date of the restaurant.
The Denison residents and visitors shopping downtown that may be looking to get their Subway sandwich fix will have a little longer to wait since the restaurant is shooting for a late fall opening. Owner Jason Blake said that once construction is complete, he will need about 3-4 more months to complete the interior.
Subway announced its plan to join downtown Denison back in 2017 and the sandwich shop wanted to get as close to Main Street as the Denison Development Alliance would allow.
The restaurant will be located at 209 S. Austin Ave.
“We're not close yet,” Blake said. “We're almost there but not quite. Once we get that (the OK) from him (the developer), we will start our interior hand out. It's still going to be several more months before we're serving customers.”
Blake said one of the benefits of having a stand alone store with a drive through compared to a traditional strip center is the convenience factor. He said the stand alone store has better visibility and better parking, making it easier for the customers.
“The Subway regional office has been wanting to put one in this part of town for many years,” Blake said. “We were just looking for the right opportunity. There is a lot that goes into a location. It is a good location for visibility and access. We look forward to serving the community as soon as possible.”
Contractor Kevin Hempkins said the building is nearly complete and he intends to hand the building over to the franchisee by the end of this week. He said all that is left on his end is some landscaping.
“After several delays of all different kinds, we're finally wrapping up,” Hempkins said. “It's been getting pushed back. Development has been slow due to weather at the beginning of the summer. Once we got our momentum up and going it became really nice. Now it is in Subway's court. We will be anxiously waiting on some sandwiches.”
Denison city officials have been talking about how the renovations taking place have sparked interest in downtown Denison with new developers investing in the area. Subway began looking at the downtown area in 2014.
“We looked in the general vicinity. This property popped up a couple of years ago whenever Bank of America closed that location,” DDA Vice President of Business Development William Myers said. “The owner started to consider how to redevelop it. This is part of that property. The food truck is also a part of that property.”
Myers said initially the Subway was going to have a more modern style, but some changes were mad to the decor in order to comply with the city ordinances relating to the historic downtown district. Once those changes were approved, it went through planning and zoning. Beyond that, there have been some construction delays due to the weather.
“They (Subway) were interested in a location around downtown so we helped them work with the city on zoning and site development,” Myers said. We work with them on communication with property owners.”
Myers said the city's 2020 vision study that was conducted in 2015 asked for community input. More dining options downtown was a top priority he said.
“It is a good example of having meetings and getting public input,” Myers said. “It helped us all come together to come up with a plan the residents were behinds. Everybody has been working together to make that happen. Several restaurants have already begun development with several more on the way.”
What other restaurants would you like to see in Denison? Let reporter Richard A. Todd know at RTodd@HeraldDemocrat.com. Also reach him on Facebook and Twitter @RichardAToddHD.