Chick-fil-A will open on Merrimon Avenue in the forthcoming Harris Teeter development.
The fast-food restaurant is one of three smaller buildings on the 8.45-acre site that accompany the grocery store. The property sits at the corner of Merrimon and Chestnut, near Greenlife and the site of the future Trader Joe’s.
Chick-fil-A confirmed through an email to Xpress that the new location is “projected to open,” although public relations representative Bernard Hendrix says it’s too early to say exactly when.
The property’s developer, Steve Vermillion of Charlotte-based Merrifield Patrick Vermillion, says the smaller buildings will be complete in early 2014.
Rumors have been circulating since winter that Chick-fil-A would open on the property. The city issued a permit for the restaurant last week.
“There wasn’t a hard contract until recently,” Vermillion says. “Their inspection period went for quite awhile.”
The Harris Teeter store is scheduled to open on Wednesday, Sept. 4, according to a company representative.
The fate of the property has been in limbo since Deal Buick left in the mid-2000s. Because of the site’s zoning, the Harris Teeter development didn’t require City Council approval. Still, Council had a say in the plans for the smaller buildings, reviewing them in January and February and hearing months of public comment.
Residents raised concerns about the volume of cars associated with drive-thrus, along with the smell of fryers and car emissions. Vermillion argued that a drive-thru was “critical for the success of the development,” according to minutes from the Jan. 22 City Council meeting.
“It’s just a shame with what could have been,” says Helen Powell-Busch, who lives around the corner from the development on Mount Clare Avenue. “There’s a place for that in Asheville, but not right there.”
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