Cook: Sonic to close Prairieville location

Tom Cook

The Sonic Drive-In situated on the east side of Airline Highway in Prairieville, just north of Swamp Road, has changed hands and is slated to close because the new owner plans on repurposing the building.

In a $595,000 deal that closed on Nov. 17, Real Estate Partners of Prairieville LLC, represented by Larry Tucker, sold the property to Adestra Properties LLC, represented by Giovanni and Donato Mucciacciaro. The new owner intends to repurpose the building in the next 60 days and should have a commitment from a new tenant sometime in the next 30 days, says Mark Hebert of Kurz & Hebert Real Estate, who brokered the deal for the buyer.

“We have interest from several different users, including another restaurant, a financial institution and another more standard retail use,” says Hebert, adding Sonic will close the restaurant and remove its signage by the end of the year.

The sale price on the 49,000-square-foot site works out to about $12.15 per square foot, and that does not give any consideration to the value of the paving and other improvements. Another tenant may not be able to take advantage of all of the existing improvements, Hebert acknowledges, adding “the paving can be used by just about anybody and that has value.”

Along with Hebert, Kent Walker with Donnie Jarreau Real Estate brokered the deal for the seller.

WAFFLE HOUSE’S NEW HOME

Waffle House has been expanding in the Baton Rouge area since acquiring the local franchisee ownership a few years ago. They wanted a site in Baker and settled on an outparcel of a Plank Road shopping center that formerly housed Albertson’s, across from Walmart.

The decision to acquire the site took place almost a year ago but the sale didn’t close until Nov. 17. The original purchase agreement was signed last December with the stipulation that the seller had to approve the proposed building.

Waffle House has a new prototype that would have had an adverse impact on the visibility of the shopping center, so the deal had to be re-engineered and the cost of re-engineering was deducted from the sale price. The original price was $165,000 for the site, which measures 29,900 square feet. That works out to about $5.50 per square foot. The cost of re-engineering was about $15,000, so the sale price was re-negotiated and closed at $150,000, or about $5 per square foot.

The new building is more narrow and was slightly moved so as not to block visibility of the tenants within the center. The seller was 14500 Baker Properties LLC, represented by me. The purchaser was Waffle House Inc. The sale was brokered by Jim Walsh of Jim Walsh Real Estate.

“We think the center should benefit from another national tenant being there. We have had some real success with leasing space in the center in recent months,” says Walsh, adding Waffle House will begin construction within the next 60 days.

Tom Cook of Cook, Moore and Associates has been an independent real estate appraiser for more than 20 years.

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