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Location that once housed Shoney's and Chinese restaurants gets approval for Korean BBQ place
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Update, Jan. 19: A Gainesville building that housed Shoney’s and Chinese buffet restaurants over the years got the city’s go-ahead Tuesday, Jan. 19, to proceed with plans for a Korean barbecue restaurant, K-Plate.

Gainesville City Council voted to OK tax allocation district funding to enable the nearly $1.4 million project.

Nearly $1.4 million could be invested in a Gainesville building that housed Shoney’s and Chinese buffet restaurants over the years.

Plans call for a Korean barbecue restaurant, K-Plate, which would be at 635 Jesse Jewell Parkway, between McDonald’s and Dunkin’ and just south of Queen City Parkway.

The business, looking to spend $814,005 on land costs and another $550,464 to renovate the old restaurant, is seeking tax allocation district funding to help with the project.

“It will be a nice improvement,” Mayor Danny Dunagan said during a presentation at a Gainesville City Council work session Thursday, Jan. 14.

“Yes, it will,” said Angela Sheppard, assistant city manager.

A tax allocation district is an area where officials hope to improve properties deemed as “blighted” by creating a public fund to help incentivize improvements. Higher property taxes that result from improved properties go into the fund for a certain period of time and are used for public improvements.

K-Plate requested $200,000 from the city’s TAD fund. The city is recommending $71,500, the expected property tax increment after 15 years, with the funding paying for parking lot paving and some new landscaping.

After $71,500 has been replenished to the TAD fund, the restaurant can keep any remaining increment up to $185,000 or by the end of 15 years, whichever comes first, according to the agreement.

The agreement goes before Gainesville City Council on Tuesday, Jan. 19.

Property owner Young Lee said he hopes if all goes well, the restaurant could open in June or July.

The property has dropped in value since 2006, when it was valued at nearly $600,000. The assessed value in 2020 was $526,800 in 2020, according to the city.

“This is one of the examples as to why TAD exists — how do we turn (a property around) and keep it from going further into decline,” Sheppard said.