Jun 1, 2023 - Business

Chick-fil-A will open in a renovated shopping center in south Charlotte

HOUSTON, TEXAS - JULY 05: A Chick-fil-A restaurant is seen on July 05, 2022 in Houston, Texas. According to an annual survey produced by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), Chick-fil-A has maintained its position as America's favorite restaurant for the eighth straight year in a row. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Construction will begin this month on a freestanding Chick-fil-A in the newly rebranded Grier Plaza, formerly called Wendover Plaza, off Wendover Road in Grier Heights.

Why it matters: The addition of Chick-fil-A is part of a larger overhaul of the shopping center at 951 Wendover Plaza. Abacus Capital and Piedmont Capital, which bought the grocery-anchored center in late 2021, are in the midst of a $5 million redevelopment of the facility. New tenants include Starbucks, Goodwill and Centerwell, while the Food Lion and Family Dollar remain.

  • Plus, people in Charlotte love Chick-fil-A. The chain’s restaurants around the city routinely form long lines of cars awaiting chicken sandwiches and waffle fries.

Timeline: Chick-fil-A’s construction, which begins June 12, will take 22-24 weeks, Abacus Capital partner Wes McAdams tells Axios. The popular chain “should be slinging sandwiches out of their new Wendover location by the end of 2023,” per McAdams.

Of note: This Chick-fil-A will have a dining room. In Cotswold, less than two miles from Grier Plaza, Chick-fil-A plans to tear down its existing restaurant and replace it with a drive-thru-only location to mitigate traffic.

The big picture: Around Charlotte, Chick-fil-A has been busy building new restaurants and redoing older ones.

  • The Chick-fil-A on South Boulevard, for instance, will close for several months in 2024 for renovations, as Axios’ Alexandria Sands reported.
  • In Matthews, the chicken chain tore down its popular restaurant off Independence Boulevard last year to build a new freestanding one with a full dining room.

The intrigue: Chick-fil-A, known for its religious views and for having donated to anti-LGBTQ+ organizations, has recently faced calls for boycotts from right-wing activists over the company’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, as Axios’ Kelly Tyko reported.

Between the lines: The rebranded Grier Plaza will also have a community incubator space to help foster economic mobility within the adjacent Grier Heights community, McAdams says.

  • “Our redevelopment will bring the center from 65% to 100% leased and create over 200 new jobs with benefits and access to educational enrichment opportunities walkable to the underserved Grier Heights community which I’m especially proud of,” McAdams says.
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