Shared from the 3/9/2021 Hot Springs Sentinel Record  eEdition

Chick-fil-A seeking city’s approval for new building


Submitted illustration

■ A rendering of the new building proposed for the Chick-fil-A at 100 Cornerstone Blvd. from an elevation submitted with the site plan application provided to the city. The site plan is posted on the city of Hot Springs website.

The queue for Chick-fil-A’s drive-thru spills onto Cornerstone Boulevard during peak times, backing up northbound traffic in the 3800 block of Central Avenue.

A site plan application on the Hot Springs Planning Commission’s agenda Thursday night would keep the popular restaurant’s to-go traffic from spilling off-site. It proposes demolishing and rebuilding the 100 Cornerstone Blvd. location that opened in 2008, demolishing the adjacent Pier 1 Imports and converting it to a parking lot.

The Hot Springs Advertising and Promotion Commission has said the local franchise is one of the city’s top-grossing restaurants and collectors of the 3% sales tax the commission levies on prepared food and lodging inside the city.

According to property records, A.J.&C. Garfunkel, the Savannah, Ga., commercial real estate and management company, owns the restaurant’s parcel and the parcel to the east, which contains the strip mall where Pier 1 was located. The company didn’t return phone calls seeking details about the new store.

Store owner Jonathan Richardson referred The Sentinel-Record to Chick-fil-A’s corporate office.

“We do not have specifics to share on this location at this time,” Jessica Ferrell, a spokeswoman for the Atlanta-based company, said in an email last month.

The plan submitted to the city’s planning and development department calls for a new 5,150-squarefoot building and adds 39 additional parking spaces. The current building is 3,384 square feet.

“The new Chick-fil-A restaurant will provide 76 parking spaces with associated drive isles, two drivethrough lanes with an option for a third lane during peak operating periods, and meal delivery and order canopies to support team members working outdoors,” said a letter Dallas-based Burger Engineering, which submitted the application, sent the city last month.

“The new site layout will have a positive impact on the city of Hot Springs. The existing store currently provides 37 parking spaces and the new store will provide 76 spaces to allow for additional on-site customer and team member parking. The drive-through storage will be increased from a 16 car stack area to a 46 car possible stack area during peak periods which should alleviate the current overflow stacking onto Cornerstone Boulevard.

“The new layout will also include an isolated drive-through layout which separates drivethrough traffic from dine-in traffic allowing for a better customer experience when navigating through the site.”

The application included a variance request for setbacks. The meal order canopy would extend 12 feet beyond the Central Avenue setback, and the meal delivery canopy 5 beyond the setback on the southern property boundary.

“The encroachments will provide for an increased customer and team member experience during ordering and meal delivery transactions,” Burger Engineering’s letter to the city said. “The canopies allow drivethrough service to continue at increased rates, even during adverse weather conditions.”

The planning and development department recommended the planning commission approve the application. The city’s zoning code gives the commission authority over development projects involving the construction of two or more structures.

See this article in the e-Edition Here