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Developer proposing Taco Bell at Tanglewood Pavilions

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Shown is an immediate view of the site for a proposed Taco Bell restaurant at Tanglewood Pavilions, Thursday. In the background is the local Zaxby's restaurant.

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By William F. West
Staff Writer

Sunday, September 23, 2018

What would be Elizabeth City’s second Taco Bell restaurant is being proposed as the newest addition to Tanglewood Pavilions off Halstead Boulevard Extended.

Mayor Bettie Parker announced last week that city staff have received a plan calling for a new Taco Bell to be built next to a retail strip building that's part of the shopping center. Parker made the announcement at Wednesday's monthly meeting of the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank County Economic Development Commission.

A blueprint of the proposal, made available later, shows the future Tex-Mex-inspired fast-food brand restaurant would be located northeast of the intersection of Halstead Boulevard Extended and Tanglewood Parkway and just below Conlon Way. 

The application was submitted by a developer with an email address connected to BurgerBusters, a large, Virginia Beach, Virginia-based Taco Bell franchisee.

The developer couldn't be reached for comment, but the application states construction on the new restaurant would start in November and be complete by February.

The city’s other Taco Bell restaurant is located in the 300 block of West Ehringhaus Street. Tax records list the owner as Mildred Roughton of Kill Devil Hills.

According to the project’s blueprints, the new Taco Bell would feature 2,657 square feet of space as well as a drive-up service window. Motorists would access the restaurant from Conlon Way.

City Manager Rich Olson said Wednesday he hasn't had direct contact with the company proposing to build the Taco Bell. But he suggested the plan to build a Taco Bell along Halstead Boulevard Extended is indicative of the growth pattern there.

“In the planning arena, it's very common to see out-migration to new transportation networks, with the bypass being there,” Olson said.

Olson also noted traffic volume on Halstead Extended continues to increase.

The latest N.C. Department of Transportation data, which is for 2016, in fact shows 18,000 vehicles a day on the part of Halstead Extended west of Thunder Road. That's up from an average vehicle count of 15,000 a day from previous years this decade.

“So, it definitely is a high-visibility, high-traffic count area,” Olson said. “And that's why a number of retail establishments and restaurants want to be out there.”

City Planner Cheryl Eggar said the next step for developers of the proposed Taco Bell is a review of their plans by the city’s Technical Review Committee.

Eggar said the committee is set to meet at 10 a.m. Tuesday in City Council Chambers. The committee is comprised of local officials in a number of city departments and state agencies, including building inspections, planning, parks and recreation, police and fire, transportation and utilities.