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Florida company plans new Clinton Wendy’s on former church site

On the heels of a nearly $312,000 remodeling of the Wendy’s restaurant on North Charles G. Seivers Boulevard in Clinton, the Florida-based company that owns that location will spend upwards of $1 million to build a second Clinton Wendy’s on the other end of town.

JAE Restaurant Group of Pompano Beach, Fla., which owns 34 Wendy’s franchised locations in the Knoxville area and six in Chattanooga, plans to tear down the vacant former Clinton Christian Church building at 400 S. Charles G. Seivers Blvd. to build the new Wendy’s.

Although JAE still has not applied for a building permit, the company has presented its plans to the city of Clinton for the new restaurant, and in October it purchased the 1.3-acre site of the former church for $690,000, according to Anderson County property records.

City Manager Roger Houck said the former church had closed its doors and vacated the building before the site was sold, and apparently did not relocate anywhere else.

The site is catercorner across Seivers Boulevard from the McDonald’s restaurant on the south side of town, and next door to the Harold Trapp Insurance Agency.

According to county records, the church property sold twice in October – first on Oct. 12 for $390,000, and then again on Oct. 14 for $690,000, with the newest and current owner listed as Wen-Clinton Real Estate LLC. Its address is listed as the same as that of JAE Restaurant Group, 1100 Park Central Blvd. South, Suite 3300, Pompano Beach, Florida.

On April 12, the city of Clinton issued a building permit to JAE for the $311,537 remodeling of the Wendy’s at 2240 N. Charles G. Seivers Blvd., listing Global Building Contractors LLC as the contractor for that project.

In February 2018, JAE Restaurant Group, one of the largest franchisees of Wendy’s, announced its acquisition of the 34 Wendy’s restaurants throughout the Knoxville area, including Clinton and Jacksboro. That made JAE a major employer in this area, with a total of 1,150 employees, the company’s announcement said.

In 2019, the company bought six Wendy’s locations in Chattanooga.

Founded in Florida in 2014 with the merger of two large Wendy’s franchisees, JAE now owns and operates 216 of the restaurants in Florida, New Mexico, Texas and Tennessee, with about $350 million in annual revenue, the company’s website shows.

In 2018, JAE Restaurant Group said it planned to begin remodeling its Knoxville-area Wendy’s locations “to include updated features such as fireplaces, a variety of inviting seating options, Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and digital menu boards.”

JAE also said it had plans to open an additional 10 to 12 locations in the market over the next four years.

No timetable has been released yet for when construction might start on the new Clinton location or when it might open. Officials with JAE Restaurant Group did not return telephone calls from The Courier News seeking information about its plans for Clinton.