By kalea hall
Two chain fast-food restaurants on U.S. Route 224 will be relocating.
Chick-fil-A will move across the street and take over the current McDonald’s space.
McDonald’s will move to the other side of the entrance to Tiffany Square next to the Italian restaurant, Carrabba’s.
The McDonald’s that is still up and running on 224 will be torn down to build the new Chick-fil-A. Chick-fil-A will expand the lot, said Sarah Gartland, Boardman zoning inspector.
“Really, it is too small of a lot for a modern restaurant site,” Gartland said.
Gartland said representatives of both companies approached the zoning department in July 2013 to find out what zoning guidelines they needed to meet in order to build.
To go forward with any building, the township’s site-plan review committee has to approve plans.
The committee has five positions on it, but only four are now filled. There is an architect, developer, a former road supervisor and an active citizen on the board. All of the members bring something to the table to make sure business plans have a positive impact on the Boardman community, Gartland said.
The architects for both restaurants submitted plans to the site-plan review committee in October.
“We have zoning requirements for how much planting and green space they have to have,” Gartland said. “Even though we are very developed, we still think green space is important.”
Both of the plans had issues when presented to the site-plan review committee in November, Gartland said.
“It’s almost impossible for a site to meet every single [requirement],” she said.
Chick-fil-A’s plans were conditionally approved, meaning some of the plans have to change or they have to receive a zoning variance. McDonald’s plans were tabled by the committee. McDonald’s representatives will meet with the committee again soon.
“We are working with the two of them and the landlord of the plaza to work on a coordinated boulevard entrance,” Gartland said. “That’s the biggest issue we are still waiting on.”
Boardman also will see two new businesses in Tiffany Square and across the street.
A Fin, Fur, Feather Outfitters is also expected to go in where the old Value City was located, and across the street, a Texas Roadhouse recently was constructed.
Oldies But Goodies Diner, which took over the former Park Classic Diner owned by Eat ’n Park on the corner of Route 224 and South Avenue, opened in October 2013.
Gail McCullough, who owns and operates Chick-fil-A and has since 1997, said he is excited to move across the street to a larger location that will offer a double drive-thru, patio seating and a new play area for children. An expanded kitchen also will be included.
“We have done so well that we have outgrown the spot we have now,” McCullough said. “We feel we can do more sales” with the new location. McCullough expects the new location to open at the beginning of 2015.
Phil Saken, regional communications manager for McDonald’s, said there is no time line set for when the restaurant will be built.
“When we are looking at new sites it is only in the interest of serving our customers,” Saken said.
The company, he said, is undergoing a transformation at many locations, which usually includes a double drive-through and Wi-Fi.
“The project has been wildly successful,” Saken said.