Chick-fil-A planned at Brainerd Village

Chick-fil-A planned at Brainerd Village

October 20th, 2011 by Mike Pare in Business Around the Region

A file photo of a Chick-fil-A restaurant. Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/BOB COLEMAN

A Chick-fil-A restaurant is being eyed for Brainerd Road, and the eatery could help efforts to revive a longtime shopping center.

Mark Robbins of the real estate management company Robbins Properties received a letter of intent from the Atlanta-based fast food company to place a restaurant at Brainerd Village.

He said plans call for the eatery to go at the site of the former EPB office at 5830 Brainerd Road. EPB recently moved an office to a nearby location adjacent to Eastgate Town Center.

"EPB moved out to accommodate us," Robbins said.

Robbins said rezoning likely will be needed for the parcel, which is surrounded by parking and was a bank branch before EPB occupied the space.

Robbins said the restaurant could open next year. Chick-fil-A did not return calls for comment.

Other tenants in the shopping center, which is nearly half empty, said a new eatery could help business.

Jacquelyn Allgood, store manager of Babcock Home Furniture and More, said Chick-fil-A would definitely help.

"It will bring in more customers and fresh new faces," she said.

Sunny Jackson of Jackson Bakery said it should generate more customer traffic. She added that the city has plans to improve the Brainerd Road area.

HOPE FOR SHOPPING CENTER

This summer, a new iHop restaurant opened in Brainerd Village, moving from an old unit across the road. The new 4,000-square-foot building cost about $2.5 million and seats 175 customers, officials said.

Robbins said his company is trying to woo a major anchor tenant to the 213,673-square-foot shopping center.

According to Robbins, Brainerd Village has 35,000 people within a five-mile radius of the center with average yearly income of $56,952. The average daily traffic count by the center is 34,000 cars per day, the company said.