Wendy’s franchise files suit over property deal

A lawsuit has been filed in District Court over a potential Wendy’s restaurant on the west side.

The lawsuit filed by Wentana LLC, the Wendy’s franchise that also owns the 10th Avenue South location among others in Montana, against the ownership entities in the West Bank development projects.

The names defendants are Skiprock LLC, West Bank LLC, Talcott Properties LLC and Brad Talcott is named individually.

In December 2020, Wentana entered into a purchase and sale agreement with Skiprock, which owned the property on 3rd Street Northwest, adjacent to the Five on Black restaurant in West Bank.

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The agreement was for a 1.08 acre parcel for $775,000, according to the lawsuit.

Under the agreement, Skiprock retained the right to approved the Wendy’s site plan and signage before Wentana submitted its applications to the city for approvals.

According to the lawsuit, Wentana met with Skiprock to discuss site layout issues and was advised that Talcott, who owns the Five on Black property, “was objecting to the Wendy’s building at that location….Talcott entered into a court of conduct designed to interfere with, delay and kill the agreement,” between Wentana and Skiprock.

According to the lawsuit, there were disagreement over the site plan and Wentana said they “agreed to move the entrance to the northern portion of the proposed building despite the fact that its franchisor and operations people believed that doing so would reduce customer counts and sales.”

Restaurant rumors

The West Bank Owners’ Association approved the site plan on May 4, 2021, according to the lawsuit, and on May 19, 2021 the parties entered into an addendum to the agreement that required Wentana to comply with easements and covenants, including traffic flow.

According to the lawsuit, the realtor emailed Wentana in May to say Skiprock was good to move forward with the project, but “Brad is raising issued regarding the anticipated changes in use to a restaurant.”

Wentana and Skiprock negotiated an extension to the closing dates to July 7.

On July 12, an attorney with the West Bank property owners told Wentana that Skiprock has received another offer and sold to that buyer, which was Talcott’s company, according to the lawsuit.

Jersey Mike’s is currently being constructed on the site.

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Wentana is alleging breach of contract against Skiprock and accuses Talcott of tortious interference with a contract and/or business relationship, which caused Wentana damages by the deal falling through.