Clifton Park

Plaza owner sues Sonic franchisee in Clifton Park

Stormwater management system appears to have been sticking point

CLIFTON PARK — DCG Development, the owner of Town Plaza on Route 146, is suing the franchisee for a Sonic Drive-In that was planned for the plaza, according to a lawsuit filed in the Saratoga County Clerk’s Office.

In the lawsuit, Paul Goldman, attorney for DCG, argued the franchisee, Fast Eats Clifton Park, and its owner, Gene Nachamkin, failed to design, install and pay for improvements to the site that were necessary in order for the restaurant to open. Specifically an underground stormwater management system was not built, the suit states.

Sonic’s failure to build the system was a direct violation of the lease agreement between the fast food chain and DCG, Goldman said in the lawsuit. According to the lease, the tenant was to be financially responsible for any alterations to the site required for Sonic to open. 

DCG entered into the lease with the fast-food chain on April 11, according to the lawsuit.

The Clifton Park Sonic, which would have been the third of its kind in the Capital Region, would have been a 3,700-square-foot, drive-in restaurant. 

Sonic announced the plan to move into Clifton Park in May, and the Clifton Park Planning Board granted the project final approval after a lengthy process in June. The drive-in chain was aiming for a fall opening.

After the site plans were approved, however, progress seemed to stop. 

A sign touting the restaurant’s imminent arrival was removed from the space that was meant to house the eatery, and the company failed to apply for a building permit from the town of Clifton Park to start construction.

DCG, according to the lawsuit, reminded Sonic in both July and August of the lease terms that required the creation of an underground stormwater management system. 

Plans for the system, said DCG in its notification to Sonic, were altogether absent from project plans.

According to the lawsuit, DCG attempted once more in September to obtain plans for the stormwater management system from Sonic. When, those plans did not materialize by October, DCG terminated the lease.

DCG is seeking to retain the first few months of Sonic’s rent for the space, as well as the company’s security deposit, which amounts to $21,333.32

Goldman did not return a call seeking comment on the case Wednesday, but, in a November phone call with The Daily Gazette, Goldman said DCG was still in discussions with Nachamkin about the future of the restaurant.

“We may have a resolution; We may not,” he said at the time.

Nachamkin has not responded to multiple calls seeking comment on the restaurant.

John Scavo, Clifton Park’s director of planning, said in November he had not heard any updates from Sonic since the site plan was approved in the summer.

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