NEW PALESTINE — It won’t be long before residents in the New Palestine will have another option for a quick meal at a popular national eatery. Officials who own the land at the corner of U.S. 52 and Mt. Comfort Road announced plans earlier this week that Taco Bell will build an establishment at the corner as soon as plans are finalized.
Tharp Realty, a commercial brokerage arm of Tharp Investments Inc., owns the land just west of the Fifth Third Bank Branch, 5930 W U.S. 52, New Palestine. Officials there said they are leasing the land to Taco Bell who will build an establishment — one they hope to have open for operations as soon as this summer.
Bill Niemier, a county lawyer who represents the Tharp company, and owner Don Tharp said they had several businesses interested in the property, but Taco Bell was the first to submit a legitimate building plan.
“They’re going to build a place that showcases their most recent design,” Niemier said. “They make them smaller nowadays because they do more drive-through than sit-down, their numbers show.”
Taco Bell will pay a ground lease to Tharp Realty to use the land for the business.
Niemier, who is also the New Palestine town council president and a longtime Southern Hancock resident, said the area has been in dire need of a fast food alternative for over a decade, and he’s thrilled to be able to confirm the franchise is headed this way.
“It looks like a really nice building, and I love Taco Bell,” Niemier said. “We did have the opportunity to select from several potential users of that land, but we’re very happy selecting Taco Bell.”
Niemier said he likes the look and the development of the busy corner that has needed a well-known, national business to help supply a growing community.
“We think this is going to be the catalyst for additional activity in that area,” Niemier said. “There are other things in the works.”
Town Manager Jim Robinson confirmed the build, noting officials from Taco Bell submitted the $250 application earlier this week. Robinson will now take the plans and share them with the town’s planning commission, but the project is already zoned for the establishment and only needs final state approval to move forward.
“Because it is a new restaurant in town, we do want to have the planning commission also take a look at it because it sits on that corner where we might like to see some extra lighting, maybe through that whole area there now that we also have that sit-down restaurant coming to that same area,” Robinson said.
The owners of Dale’s Family Restaurant, which is on the south side of Indianapolis, are in the process of building another sit-down restaurant in New Palestine with a full breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert menu, as well as a full bar. It’s located behind Needlers grocery store and will be within a stone’s throw of the new Taco Bell.
The owner of that establishment, Dennis Beikman, said he planned to name the restaurant in New Palestine something other than Dale’s Family Restaurant and settled on the name Tony D’s in honor of his brother. Officials there hope to have the restaurant open for business by late spring or early summer if the supply chain for goods to finish up the build gets rolling.
In addition to the Taco Bell and the sit-down restaurant, Robinson like Niemier feel the corner has a few more options for further development from other national businesses.
“There is definitely more to come,” Niemier said.