Ponder Enterprises Inc. President Dan Ponder estimates that construction will begin in roughly six weeks on a new Hardee’s in Albany to be located at the corner of Slappey Boulevard and Residence Avenue. (Staff photo: Brad McEwen)
ALBANY — Diners in central and western Albany will soon have another food option as a second Hardee’s location will be locating on Slappey Boulevard across from Zaxby’s early next year.
The new restaurant will be Ponder Enterprises Inc.’s third Albany-area location, joining the company’s East Albany location at 2324 E. Oglethorpe Blvd. and Leesburg restaurant, located at 258 U.S. Highway 19.
Ponder Enterprises has owned the Slappey Boulevard lot, which backs up to Haley Street, for some time and submitted construction plans to the City of Albany last summer. Due to sewer and drainage work that needed to be completed by the city, construction has been delayed.
According to Dan Ponder, president of Ponder Enterprises which is based in Donalsonville, the city has completed that work and the project has now been put out for bids.
“The city sewer and water project has been completed and we bid the store,” Ponder said. “We should probably start (construction) in about six weeks. I should know a more exact date fairly soon.”
If everything goes according to plan, Ponder hopes the restaurant will be ready to open in February.
Ponder said the company has been looking to open another Albany location for some time and had been looking at various sites around town.
“We bought the location in Five Points (in Albany) in 2007,” said Ponder. “We also have locations in Leesburg, Cordele and Americus. We’re all around Albany. We’ve been working for years to identify the right pieces of property in Albany. We’re high on this site. I’ve been told (the area where the store will be located) gets one of the highest traffic counts in Albany.”
In addition to the new Albany location Ponder said the company has been hard at work trying to open additional Hardee’s locations throughout south Georgia and Alabama. Next week the company will be opening a location in Ozark, Ala., and it has also started construction on a Hardee’s in Douglas, which should open in late 2014 or early 2015.
“Right now we have 24 stores,” Ponder said. “Douglas will be 25 and Albany 26. We’re also planning on opening three in Tallahassee this year. We’re busy. The Hardee’s brand has been doing great the last 10 years. We know we have a product Albany will like.”