Chick-fil-A to add store on 54W, but will close original PTC location
The new Chick-fil-A restaurant coming to Ga. Highway 54 West and Line Creek Drive will reveal a new direction taken by the company, featuring a brick and glass exterior along with various internal touches as a nod to the chicken chain’s beginnings.
The new concept, which includes an outdoor dining area, was approved unanimously by the Peachtree City Planning Commission Monday night.
While the new store is seen as a quasi-marketing vehicle for the company, it also may create a bit of a stir among fans of the Chick-fil-A restaurant in the Peachtree Crossing shopping center on Ga. Highway 54 East. That’s because Chick-fil-A plans to shutter the 54E store when the 54W store opens.
Planning commissioners expressed concern that Chick-fil-A might lose a number of loyal customers on the east side of the city, who might be unlikely to cross heavy traffic at the intersection of Ga. highways 54 and 74 to reach the new store on the complete “other side of town,” commissioners said.
Chick-fil-A director of development and construction Greg Wallace said the matter of opening a new store and closing the east location is one of the most heavily debated issues the company has had in quite a while. Wallace said he would share the commission’s concerns with the company’s real estate arm, adding that Chick-fil-A is actively looking for a new tenant for the location.
Part of the problem with the 54 east location is it used to be a Hardee’s and wasn’t originally built as a Chick-fil-A, Wallace explained.
“We understand the challenge with our customers,” Wallace said. “It’s one of those things where unfortunately we can’t keep them both open just from a financial standpoint.”
Closing the 54 east store, however, would be a blow to the community, several commissioners said. Commissioner Lynda Wojcik asked if Chick-fil-A could keep the eastside store open for a time after opening the new store, just to see if it will work.
“It’s easy to get in the golf cart and go there with the grandkids,” said commissioner Frank Destadio.
Commissioner David Conner said he and his family also frequent the eastside location on the golf cart, but if the store closes they won’t be able to.
“Either way, we do appreciate your investment in the city,” Conner said.