It’s official: Starbucks, Sonic, Tennova planned for I-75 area

This artist’s rendering shows the planned Glen Alpine Square building on North Charles G. Seivers Boulevard. Starbucks will occupy the space on the left side.
Fans of Starbucks and Sonic drive-in can rejoice: Both chains are coming soon to Clinton.

Sonic will occupy a separate building of its own just east of the new Buddy’s bar-b-q restaurant in the Glen Alpine shopping development on North Charles G. Seivers Boulevard near Interstate 75, Exit 122, and will include a drive-through window as well as Sonic’s signature carhop curb service, according to plans.

Starbucks, meanwhile, will be the first tenant of a planned three-space building just west of the Buddy’s location, and will also include a drive-through lane. Two other spaces in that building are still available for lease, said developer Andy Hillmer of Southern Commercial real estate in Knoxville.

Also, part of the currently unoccupied space in the building housing Buddy’s will become the site of a new Tennova urgent-care clinic, Hillmer said. Negotiations are underway for a third tenant to fill out that building.

More possible businesses in the development – around where the former Shell station and Baskins-Robbins ice cream store stood – include a wine/liquor store, which could be the first to open in Clinton since voters approved package stores in the Nov. 3 General Election.

“We have signed a lease with Tennova Medical,” Hillmer said. “They will occupy 2,841 square feet for an urgent care/medical office. That will leave us with the middle space to lease (1,300 square feet).

“Currently we are talking with a pizza concept, a nail salon and a wireless store,” he said. “We will likely have a lease signed in the next few weeks with one of those tenants. With that lease in place, this building will be 100% leased.”

Construction should begin “within the next month” and be complete in August on Glen Alpine Square, a second retail building that “will be about 5,250 square feet,” Hillmer said.

“This building will be anchored by Starbucks coffee, and we are working with a number of other tenants for the remaining space,” he said. “No other leases have been signed, but we expect it to lease quickly.

“Tenants we are talking with are a wine/liquor store, wireless provider and nail salon,” Hillmer said.

“We have a legend lease with Sonic for the outparcel to the left of the Buddy’s building,” he said. “I would expect them to start construction in April/May.”

That will be a stand-alone building with no space for any other tenants.

According to the Southern Commercial website, the new building west of the Buddy’s location, Glen Alpine Square, “is a mixed-use development located within a half mile from I-75 {Exit 122]. … This is the second retail building and will be completed by July of 2021 and anchored by Starbucks Coffee.

“Traffic counts are over 35k/cars per day at the site,” it says. “This lot has great access from Charles Seivers Boulevard and Sinking Springs Road.”

The city of Clinton has not yet issued building permits for the Sonic or Starbucks buildings, but both projects have already received approval from the city’s Planning Department.