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    NexStore Founder Entangled In Lawsuit

    The bank that loaned the developer money for his venture has sued, claiming there have been no payments.

    BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Florida Community Bank of Immokalee has sued Bill Knight, the founder of the NexStore convenience concept, claiming that he has not made a payment on his $12.7 million loan since May 14, the Palm Beach Post reported.

    The bank’s attorney, Daniel Mandel, told the newspaper that he heard Knight is trying to sell another piece of property to pay the loan.

    "They're hoping to have things work out," Mandel said.
    Knight confirmed the lawsuit for CSNews Online and added that the involved parties are currently in negotiations to settle, and that an agreement should be complete by the end of the month. Terms of the settlement include a reduced interest rate, he said, adding that business is good at his location.

    CSNews Online reported in April 2007 that Knight planned to franchise his convenience store concept, which launched in 2004 in the South Florida area.

    To date, one franchise is being completed, according to Knight. There are 20 interested franchisees, some of which will be joint ventures, he said.

    The NexStore concept offers gas, a convenience store, a gourmet food-to-go shop, a dine-in area for neighboring businesses, a deli and a pastry shop. The franchised outlets are called NexStore Express and measure 3,000 square feet, with features such as the Chef's Showcase, with more than 30 chef-created gourmet meals and a grab-and-go display. Stores also will offer a bakery, cafe, deli, grill, sushi bar, salad bar and Chinese station.

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