WHAT’S GOING ON? Wastewater Treatment Plant, Restaurant Planned in Foscoe

Published Monday, July 18, 2016 at 1:29 pm
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A developer has plans to turn the old Carlton Gallery into a restaurant as soon as a wastewater treatment plant is built across the street. Photos by Ken Ketchie

By Jesse Wood

A developer has plans to turn the old Carlton Gallery on Aldridge Road in Foscoe into a restaurant. First, though, a wastewater treatment plant must be built across the street because the property is in a flood-prone area.

Ron Sayles, of Sugar Grove, is a managing partner of Vestpocket Investments LLC, the group that is developing the sewage treatment plant and restaurant on more than two acres on Aldridge Road. Sayles said he hopes to have an authorization to construct the plant in the next 30 to 60 days.

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On Aldridge Road, across the street from the Carlton Gallery, is where the wastewater treatment plant is planned.

According to the conditional use permit application submitted to Seven Devils Board of Adjustment last year, the plant will treat 35,000 gallons per day along the Watauga River and would be enclosed in a painted, 50-by-150-foot metal building.

“We are getting ready to get the sewage treatment facility in place. Once there, we’ll be developing the old Carlton Gallery piece and hopefully that will become a restaurant site,” Sayles said.

The Hess Station at the entrance of Seven Devils Road will tie into the plant – alleviating the need to continually pump out waste every day because of its faulty septic field. Sayles said that anyone can tie into the system providing that it’s not too far away, including whatever becomes of the roughly 18 acres of property next to the Hess Station owned by Charlie Clement.

Clement applied for and received a permit from the Town of Seven Devils to clear the property. While Clement didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, Seven Devils Mayor Larry Fontaine said that Clement applied for the permit in order show off the road frontage and market the property.

When Sayles applied for the conditional use permit with the town, he alluded to the future development spurred by the construction and operation of a sewage plant: “This is the start of the development of the Seven Devils downtown area and this plant as part of the infrastructure of such development will permit and encourage development of the 18 acres fronting Highway 105 as well as the restaurant to be built at 140 Aldridge Road…”

Sayles mentioned that he’s been in talks with Clement about the development of the 18 or so acres. A hotel has even been discussed, but right now Sayles said there is nothing definitive in the works – aside from the future restaurant on Aldridge Road and the plant across the street.

Currently, Sayles said he is in talks with a couple restaurateurs about operating at the old Carlton Gallery building. The exterior renovations of the building are nearly complete, he said.

Mayor Fontaine said that folks are excited about the restaurant and future development of these properties.

“We are hoping to see a restaurant down there. It would be a good addition to Foscoe. I know everybody would rather [go there] than drive to Boone,” Fontaine said. “It would be nice to have.”

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A developer has plans to turn the old Carlton Gallery into a restaurant as soon as a wastewater treatment plant is built across the street. Photos by Ken Ketchie

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On Aldridge Road, across the street from the Carlton Gallery, is where the wastewater treatment plant is planned.

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The treatment plant will be enclosed in a metal building, and the lot will also feature a gravel parking area.

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This picture and the ones that follow depict a piece of property next to the Hess Station near the entrance to Seven Devils. This property is on the market and will likely be developed – especially in light of the new treatment plant coming on line.

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