By Christina Calloway
Portales city councilors cheered and smiled prior to approving an agreement granting $60,000 in local economic development funds to help a popular fast food chain locate to Portales.
Taco Bell will be the newest fast food chain on the block, according to Portales City Manager Doug Redmond. After years of negotiation, the restaurant’s parent company Texmex Crunch Time Restaurants, LLC., has acquired the appropriate permits to locate at 1001 W. First Street.
The company has requested economic assistance to demolish the existing structure, construct the new store and make parking lot improvements. The restaurant is expected to be open in the fall.
“I’m excited,” said Ward D Councilor Dianne Parker after the meeting. “It’s just another thing for us. It’s well-known and it’s within walking distance from (Eastern New Mexico University).”
ENMU’s close location to the restaurant is what helped seal the deal, according to Redmond, who says the restaurant chain is popular among college students.
“We’re certainly an attractive location with the university,” Redmond said.
The restaurant’s proposed late hours will also be beneficial to the area’s bar crowd as another late-night food option, Redmond said.
Redmond told the councilors the structure that’s currently there will be demolished soon. This new restaurant is expected to create 22 new jobs in the community, and is expected to generate a little more than $67,000 over three years in gross receipts tax, according to Redmond.
Redmond said the overall investment in the restaurant is worth $1.3 million.
“It’s a win for our (Roosevelt County Community Development Corporation) because this was a competitive process for Portales,” said Ward C Councilor Leo Lovett, who is also a member of the RCCDC board.
Lovett noted that Taco Bell had several options in new locations, but is pleased to hear Portales is the first choice.
Parker added she hopes this is a start for other restaurants and businesses to locate to Portales.