To Bell or Not to Bell

By on January 14, 2015

Speculation continues to swirl in local diners, bars, shops, at ball games, social functions, and especially on social media about what chain restaurant will next dot the Route 322/222 corridor.

The loudest “voice’ has come from speculators representing the Taco Bell lobby.

Site developer Richard Stauffer suggested Taco Bell is a possible tenant but he has told the township there’s still no franchise deal in place yet at the property where homes were razed just west of the Arby’s restaurant on Route 322, Steve Sawyer, Ephrata Township manager, said.

Demolition continued this week at East Main and Pleasant Valley Road where workers razed thsi home Tuesday.¶

Demolition continued this week at East Main and Pleasant Valley Road where workers razed thsi home Tuesday.¶

Sawyer said documents submitted last year for a fast food restaurant — labeled only “880 East Main Street Development Plan” — do not include the buzz word “Taco Bell.”

Phone calls to Taco Bell Corp. were not immediately returned on Tuesday.

An LNP news reporter on social media stated definitively that a Taco Bell will be built at that site. A tenant who had occupied one of the homes demolished for the new restaurant told The Ephrata Review that her landlord terminated her lease because “a Taco Bell restaurant would be built there.”

Sawyer confirmed that the site, which is being developed by Property Investing and Management, PIM, is on the next Ephrata Township planning commission agenda on Jan.27.

A review letter on the plan is expected to be submitted this week by the township’s engineer , Rettew Associates.

“If the engineer says the plan is clean it could be approved by (planning commission) and sent to the board of supervisors for approval,” Sawyer said.

PIM’s “880 East Main Street Plan” has a lot size of about 1.4 acres and proposes a 2,600-square-foot fast food restaurant building. PIM also owns the property on the other side of 800 Main Street/Route 322 where demolition continued this week at East Main and Pleasant Valley Road.

Though no plans have been submitted to Ephrata Township yet, PIM has submitted preliminary plans with PennDOT for “Ephrata Crossings,” on the south side of Route 322.

PIM has been shopping for tenants at Ephrata Crossings, an 11-plus acre property at 825 E. Main St., which envisions — according to its transportation study plans — a 46,900-square-foot shopping center, 30,000-square-foot health/fitness center, and a 13,000-square-foot pharmacy.

As for the likelihood that a Taco Bell will soon dot the Route 333/Route 222 corridor, he said “we’ll see.”

“Right now, it is a fast-food restaurant site,” Sawyer said. “Nothing can be done until the land development deal is approved anyway.”

Patrick Burns is a staff writer for The Ephrata Review. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at or at 721-4455.




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