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Chick-fil-A on Wednesday met with the Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.’s (ABI) Design Review Committee (DRC) over a rezoning proposal to convert a Texaco gas station at the intersection of Boulevard and Ponce de Leon Avenue, into its newest restaurant. What Now Atlanta (WNA) first uncovered the fast-casual chicken chain’s plans for the site earlier this year, followed by detailed renderings and the rezoning application. Given its positioning within the BeltLine Overlay District, the project was required to go through the DRC as part of the planning process, although ultimately, zoning decisions are made by the City’s planning office.
The ground-up Chick-fil-A was not well-received by the DRC, according to a recap of the Nov. 18 meeting provided to WNA Friday. “The DRC did not support the five variations to the BeltLine Overlay District,” the spokesperson said. “The DRC does not support this overall project, as it does not represent good urbanism.”
But the rejection isn’t the end of the project, planned at 689 Boulevard NE, next door to Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. Instead, project planners have been asked to revise the proposal. “While the DRC understands the site is constrained in part by an access easement; the project is still suburban and very car-centric,” the spokesperson said. “The DRC recommends that the applicant further coordinates with ABI’s Project Manager leading the Ponce Streetscape Project, revisit the proposed Norway maple trees on site as it’s an invasive species, and it does not support the 24” accent seat wall.”
Chick-fil-A has long been vying for a location on this stretch of Ponce. In 2016, rumors circulated that Dugan’s sports bar near Ponce City Market would close and become an outpost of the Atlanta-based restaurant chain. Dugan’s is still open and operating.