Fort Valley Coke Building Will Make Way for Wendy's | News
Fort Valley's city council Monday voted to allow a local businessman to demolish an old Coca-Cola plant to make way for a Wendy's.
Some people in town opposed the plan, saying the city should save the building, which was a Coke manufacturing plant from the 1930s to the 1960s.
"It think it's very, very shortsighted, and it makes me really sad," says Jo Ann Dankle, who has been fighting against the plan.
She says the Coca-Cola plant adds history to the area, and that it is reminiscent of earlier times that many people can relate to.
Wendy's owner Danny Strickland has franchises across the area including Warner Robins, and chose this location in Fort Valley for its proximity to the main road. Although some people suggested ideas like adding the Wendy's to the existing structure, he says he doesn't have the budget to do that, and just plans on demolishing the building and starting from stratch.
The council, along with Mayor John Stumbo, voted unanimously to allow the Wendy's at North Camellia Blvd. after discussing the matter for about an hour. About 40 people attended the meeting. Stumbo called it a "hard decision," but said that the added jobs would benefit Fort Valley's hard-hit economy.
But that's exactly the reason historical preservationist Billie Logue said he's skeptical. "If [Wendy's] closes down, now we've got an empty Wendy's, so what would you rather have, an empty Coke building that has historic value or an empty Wendy's?"