Chick-fil-A officially breaks ground at location across from Keizer Station

Crews from Rich Duncan Construction are in the infancy stages of building the Willamette Valley’s first Chick-fil-A (KEIZERTIMES/Matt Rawlings).

After months of speculation, the process of building the Willamette Valley’s first Chick-fil-A has finally begun.

Last week, crews from Rich Duncan Construction broke ground on the land that sits next to 7-Eleven on the south side of Chemawa Road, approximately a half-mile away from In-N-Out in Keizer Station.

“Chick-fil-A is happy to share that we are actively working on our first location in the Keizer area, and we are very excited to finally be joining the community. We are looking forward to the opportunity to serve new guests delicious food in an environment of genuine care and hospitality in the very near future,” Chick-fil-A officials said.

The project was greenlit by the Keizer City Council last February. Shane Witham, the community developer for the city of Keizer, confirmed that permits were issued to the Georgia-based fried chicken franchise on Dec. 10.

“It’s always a good thing when we have big name tenants coming to town. Personally, I love chicken sandwiches, so I plan to frequent that place quite a bit,” Witham said. “This project was met with a lot of excitement from (city officials).”

The popular fast-food restaurant, which is expected to be able to seat 128 people, could create as many as 100 jobs for the community according to Chick-fil-A development manager Steve Schwartz.

Rich Duncan Construction, who has partnered with Chick fil-A for two other projects in the state over the last three years, was unable to comment on the project as it would be in breach of their contract with the fast food chain, according to the company’s Vice President Nate Cooke.

The timetable for completion of this project has yet to be released.