Amherstburg Salvages Commercial Deal

A commercial project has been salvaged by Amherstburg Town Council.

The $3-million development to bring a Wendy's to a property on Sandwich St. near Fort St. next to the Sobeys grocery store was dead in the water last August.

That was after Sobey's filed an appeal to Local Planning Appeal Tribunal to have the project blocked and the town's Heritage Committee had issues with some of the branding.

Developer Joe Mikhail initially sought to fight Sobey's in court — the store sits on his property and leases his building — but decided to walk away from the deal.  

Almost a year later his clients at Wendy's and everyone involved compromised.

"More than I expected them to do, they added a heritage style to it to appease the Heritage Committee, they moved the building back away from Sandwich St. to allow the drive stacking lanes to come out differently," he says. "We tweaked it in minor ways that allowed this to happen so everybody got a little bit of something."

Mikhail says, at the end of the day, everyone wins.

"Everybody looks at these small places and says it's only a fast food place, but it's 50 jobs. Fifty students who go to college, university, high school, those are good jobs for them," says Mikhail. "I'll be adding a significant tax base to the community."

The town's new Wendy's will break ground in June, according to Mikhail. He has two more commercial developments planned for later this year, but could not go into details until they go before council.