GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A proposal to put in a Chick-fil-A along the East Beltline in Grand Rapids has fallen through.
The Grand Rapids Planning Commission on Thursday rejected Chick-fil-A’s request for a drive-thru, which is not allowed under the area’s zoning without special approval. That was a deal breaker for Chick-fil-A.
The popular fast food chicken restaurant would have replaced the Fajita Republic near Celebration! Cinema North, according to the application the company filed with the city. It would have seated up to 120 customers and employed as many as 70 people.
City Planning Director Suzanne Schulz said commissioners voted against the drive-thru because they didn’t want the East Beltline to become another 28th Street, which is lined with fast food joints.
“We don’t want to have linear strip commercial development up and down the entire Beltline with massive signage, with lots of strip malls and drive-thrus. We don’t want it to necessarily be auto-oriented, even though it’s on a major transportation corridor. We want to try to create a village where once you park, you can walk around,” Schulz said.
She said Chick-fil-A is still in discussions about another location in Grand Rapids, though she said she couldn’t disclose where that was.
There is still a Chick-fil-A under construction on Edgeknoll Drive SE in Gaines Township, south of the city. It’s expected to open early next year.
There’s also one under construction near the intersection of 54th Street and Clyde Park Avenue in Wyoming.
And in Lansing, people camped out overnight to be the first in line for the Thursday opening of the first standalone Chick-fil-A in the state.
Chick-fil-A has more than 2,000 locations nationwide. Most of those are franchise operations.