Chick-fil-A gets council greenlight

Construction of a Chick-fil-A near Keizer Station moved one step closer to reality at a meeting of the Keizer City Council Monday, Feb. 1.

Councilors approved changes to a master plan that removes a proposed auto lube business to accommodate additional parking for the fast food restaurant.

“We’re super-excited to be part of the community and see this project get going,” said Steve Schwartz, development manager for the Atlanta-based chain.

Asked by Mayor Cathy Clark what prompted the restaurant to choose Keizer, Schwartz said it was partly based on the success of locations in the Portland area.

“Keizer had great commuting patterns and was very business friendly as well,” Schwartz said. He commended Shane Witham, Keizer’s interim community development director, in particular.

The 128-seat location could create as many as 80-100 jobs for the area, Schwartz said.

If things go according to plan, the Chick-fil-A will be located in a space between Chemawa Road Northeast and Ulali Drive Northeast. The space is south of Keizer Station and will become the first development in an area identified as Chemawa Station.

The major changes to existing plans for the area also known as the “jug handle” included:

• Reducing the number of buildings on the jug handle from four to three.

• Increasing the number of parking spaces.

• Moving a water feature to accommodate a pedestrian plaza near Chick-fil-A.

7-Eleven has already been approved for the jug handle, the business has also applied to own and operate a 12-pump fueling station on the site.

The Confederated Tribes of the Grande Ronde and Confederated Tribes of the Siletz are joint owners of the property that extends to the water tower near Keizer Little League Park.

Further development is expected, eventually, south of Ulali Drive to the water tower