CLIFTON PARK – Construction on the long-anticipated Chick-fil-A restaurant in Clifton Park is expected to begin in the near future.
Clifton Park Planning Department Director John Scavo said an exact date for the start of construction is still unknown, but work is expected to start soon.
“I know there’s a strong following. We keep hearing, ‘When is it going to be open?’” Scavo said. “We’d love to see them start sooner than later. We look forward to seeing them open up in the spring of next year hopefully.”
The plans for the Chick-fil-A in Clifton Park were approved last spring. Scavo said he expects the construction to start “hopefully” in October.
Chick-fil-A reported on Thursday that it expects to open early next year.
“It’s really in Chick-fil-A’s court right now,” Scavo said. “What we hear is, they are ready to start. They were trying to sync up the opening of the Clifton Park store with the North Greenbush store. So, I think that kind of slowed things down on their end, but they’ve been ready to go on our end since the spring.”
The restaurant will be located at 304 Clifton Park Center Road, the former site of Pier 1 Imports. The vacant Pier 1 Imports building will be demolished prior to the construction of the new 5,000-square foot-restaurant and drive-thru.
“For all intents and purposes, the building permit is ready for them to pick up,” Scavo said. “I think they just have some minor things to deliver, like the insurance copies, just minor technical stuff that shouldn’t be an issue.”
The needed approvals from the town have been in place for the new restaurant, Clifton Park Supervisor Phil Barrett said. The Building Department permit can be issued for demolition of the current building and the construction of the new restaurant can begin, he explained.
The new restaurant is another in a string of redevelopment projects in the Exit 9 area, Barrett said.
“The ability to attract millions in investment while redeveloping vacant properties has been something we’ve been working very hard on for the last couple of decades,” Barrett said. “We’ve experienced tremendous success in our efforts to redevelop various properties at Exit 9.”
The Chick-fil-A will provide another restaurant option that will bring people to Exit 9, Barrett said.
“Back in 2000, I envisioned a robust Exit 9,” Barrett said. “Where people that live in Clifton Park could shop, receive premium medical care and utilize other services close to home, while growing our tax base. That’s come to fruition.”
The first Chick-fil-A restaurant opened in 1967 in Atlanta. According to its website, there are over 2,600 Chick-fil-A restaurants throughout 47 US states, Washington D.C., Canada and Puerto Rico.
“It’s our pleasure to confirm we will be opening our first Chick-fil-A restaurant in Clifton Park, slated for early 2023,” Chick-fil-A, Inc. said in an email to reporters Thursday. “We look forward to joining the community and serving all of our guests delicious food in an environment of genuine hospitality.”
The Chick-fil-A restaurants in the towns of Clifton Park and North Greenbush will be among the first in the area. According to Chick-fil-A’s website, its only other nearby restaurant is located inside Albany International Airport, but only those flying in or out of the airport are able to access that location. The next nearest Chick-fil-A is in Chicopee, Mass., about 95 miles from the airport location.