Expanding chains unearth real estate bargains by not breaking ground

Expanding chains unearth real estate bargains by not breaking ground

High real estate costs have conspired with record-high prices for gas and commodities to slow expansion for many restaurant companies, but operators are finding development bargains by converting defunct restaurant spaces into their own concepts.

And a flattening-out of costs that had soared in recent years for construction and some building materials, combined with a return to competitive bidding among contractors hit by slumps in the housing market, also are providing rare values fo

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