A Chick-fil-A restaurant is slated to be part of a larger multimillion-dollar shopping center planned for Collegedale with work scheduled to begin early next year, officials said Tuesday.

Collegedale City Commissioner Ethan White said a design panel has given initial approval to the look of the Chick-fil-A eatery. Now, the city's engineering and other staff will review plans and provide the final OK for the proposed restaurant, he said.

"The city is on board," White said. "We did everything we could do to facilitate them to locate where they're going. I don't foresee anything causing a problem."

About the site

Located off Old Lee Highway near I-75, the new shopping center is expected to initially hold a pair of restaurants along with a couple of retailers, officials said.

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The iconic Chick-fil-A cows.

He said the restaurant is to be part of a larger center on Old Lee Highway on a vacant tract near an existing Zaxby's eatery not far from Interstate 75.

Chattanooga developer Larry Armour said plans are to put in a pair of restaurants and a couple of retailers with an expansion coming later in the development.

He said workers are expected to break ground just after the first of the year on the 3-acre tract.

"We've done a lot of development in Collegedale," Armour said. "We've been doing this 10 years or better. We enjoy working with the city of Collegedale and hopefully we'll continue this relationship."

David Barto, who directs the Collegedale Tomorrow Foundation, said the Chick-fil-A is expected to open about early October.

He said the restaurant likely will be about the size of the Atlanta-based chain's Gunbarrel Road eatery if not a little larger.

"It will be a welcome addition," said Barto, who heads the planning group.

Chick-fil-A didn't immediately return a phone call or email seeking comment.

Collegedale is the fastest-growing city in the Chattanooga region, having more than doubled its population since the 2000 census.

Among Tennessee's 100 largest cities, Collegedale is second only to the Nashville suburb of Mount Juliet in its growth rate from 2010 to 2016. The city has benefited from Southern Adventist University's growth, McKee Foods Corp. and other nearby employers such as Volkswagen and Amazon.

The Chick-fil-A restaurant in Collegedale is the second to be unveiled over the past five months in Hamilton County and will join eight other Chick-fil-A units already operating in metropolitan Chattanooga.

In August, East Ridge officials said the chain is planning an eatery on Camp Jordan Parkway near Exit 1 in the Bass Pro-anchored Jordan Crossing shopping center. The fast-food company submitted plans and applied for a building permit from East Ridge for a 5,000-square-foot restaurant with inside seating for 120 people and two drive-through lanes long enough to hold a line 35 vehicles long.

The East Ridge unit will be built in front of an 88-room Hampton Inn under construction by Chattanooga-based Vision Hospitality Group Inc.

That restaurant's construction value is $850,000, said city building inspector Michael Howell.

Contact Mike Pare at or 423-757-6318.