Add Panda Express to the list of possible tenants for the East Bend development planned for the Kmart site in East Rome. James Martin, assistant building official with the city of Rome confirms there have been very preliminary talks with Panda Express and Texas Roadhouse about options at the center the Ledbetters are planning for the 20 acres including the former Kmart site off Turner McCall and Hicks Drive.
Martin cautions that the talks are very preliminary. But he adds that those behind the Panda Express location have discussed a restaurant on the first turn into the retail center after you cross the bridge coming from the Cooper Drive/Turner McCall intersection (McDonald’s area). The site is outlined in red in the above cut-away from the East Bend rendering.
The initial contact with Panda Express has included details about signage, set backs, dumpster locations and such.
Also in preliminary talks: Texas Roadhouse, one of the restaurants we projected as potential tenants in our “what if” story on April 30 at 85 percent possible. If signed, expect it to go into one of the larger restaurant options in the East Bend campus. Texas Roadhouse has been studying Rome locations for nearly five years.
Martin also confirms continuing talks to put Del Taco in the former Burger King location in West Rome. BK jumped to the other side of Shorter Avenue over the Christmas holidays, the site of the one-time Popeye’s. Del Taco operators, in our latest conversation, said they were about a month away from any news on what’s next in Northwest Georgia. They opened another location in Calhoun last year.