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Chick-fil-A eyes South Hill for new restaurant

July 26, 2022 Updated Tue., July 26, 2022 at 9:40 p.m.

Lines of cars weave through the drive-through of the Chick-fil-A fast food restaurant, which opened in December 2020 in north Spokane. A development firm recently filed plans with the city to potentially build a Chick-fil-A on the South Hill at the southwest corner of 29th Avenue and Regal Street.  (Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review)
Lines of cars weave through the drive-through of the Chick-fil-A fast food restaurant, which opened in December 2020 in north Spokane. A development firm recently filed plans with the city to potentially build a Chick-fil-A on the South Hill at the southwest corner of 29th Avenue and Regal Street. (Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review)

Spokane residents with a hankering for Chick-fil-A’s chicken sandwiches, waffle fries and lemonade might not have to make a drive to north Spokane.

The Atlanta-based restaurant chain appears to be considering plans for a restaurant on the South Hill.

San Diego-based 4G Development and Consulting Inc. filed a pre-development application with the city last week to build a nearly 5,000-square-foot Chick-fil-A near the southwest corner of 29th Avenue and Regal Street. The land has been vacant for years.

The restaurant would have 90 dining room seats, a double drive-thru and more than 100 parking spaces, according to a conceptual site plan for the project.

Existing buildings on the site would be demolished to make way for the restaurant, according to the application.

Although the application doesn’t specify Chick-fil-A, a site plan shows the restaurant chain’s name attached to the project.

Chick-fil-A said in an email it’s interested in opening additional restaurants in the Spokane area, but declined to confirm whether it was considering a location on the South Hill.

“We are always evaluating potential new locations in the hopes of serving existing and new customers great food with remarkable service,” Chick-fil-A said in the email.

The site plan for the South Hill Chick-fil-A shows drive-thru lanes winding through the parking lot between the restaurant and an entrance on 30th Avenue.

The city’s zoning code for the site, however, has restrictions on drive-thru lanes to prevent traffic jams. Drive-thru lanes are prohibited if they are located between a building and an adjacent street, according to the city.

“Multiple people have had pre-developments on this site and it has proven difficult to make a drive-through use work while meeting the design standards,” Kirstin Davis, spokeswoman for the city of Spokane’s public works division, said in an email.

A pre-development conference does not necessarily mean a project will occur, but rather an applicant is seeking information from the city on design regulations or whether the site is feasible for development.

Building permits for the proposed Chick-fil-A on the South Hill have not yet been filed with the city.

Irvine, California-based Ware Malcomb was listed as the architect for the proposed South Hill restaurant. Ware Malcomb has designed other Chick-fil-A locations in the Pacific Northwest, including the restaurant chain’s north Spokane site.

Chick-fil-A opened its first Spokane location in December 2020 at 9304 N. Newport Highway.

Chick-fil-A’s first days drew thousands of residents. On its opening day, some customers waited in line in their cars for hours to order from the north Spokane restaurant, according to a Spokesman-Review article published in December 2020.

The north Spokane restaurant opened after months of speculation.

Chick-fil-A is a family-owned and privately held restaurant company founded in 1967 by S. Truett Cathy. It operates more than 2,700 restaurants in 47 states, Washington, D.C., and Canada.

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