Five Points is getting another development boost.
Charlotte's Aston Properties, which owns the Marketplace on Harden (commonly known as the Food Lion shopping center) will replace the Hardee's on College Street with a Chick-fil-A in 2010.
The firm, which bought the shopping center and the fast food store in 2006, will demolish the present building and build a new store for the popular Atlanta-based chain.
Also, the lot will be landscaped to match the Five Points beautification project and to meet Five Points design guidelines.
In 2007, the city completed a $36 million streetscaping and utility improvement project. The guidelines, which set height standards and other design parameters, were adopted last year.
The new Chick-fil-A will have outdoor seating at College and Harden, a wrought-iron fence, steps leading to the intersection and an arbor to define the corner.
"It was very important to meet the criteria of the Five Points guidelines and add to the improvements the city has made," said Aston partner Kevin Flynn. "We hope it will be another catalyst for the area."
Merritt McHaffie, executive director of the Five Points Association of merchants, said the project would be a great improvement to the corner.
"Chick-fil-A is a business of high quality and we anticipate this development will add great character to the already diverse and eclectic makeup of Five Points," she said
Flynn said he hoped the new store would add to traffic at the shopping center. All of the retail space in the center is full and thriving, he said. But 7,000 of the 12,500 square feet of office space on the second level is available.
Chick-fil-A has 75 stores in South Carolina. In August, it opened a restaurant on Augusta Road in West Columbia.
The opening of one of the new stores has somewhat of a cult following. The company gives the first 100 people who show up at an opening free food for a year.
"People literally travel around the country," said Jerry Johnston, Chick-fil-A's senior manager of publics relation from his Atlanta office. "They are kind of like Dead Heads. Chick-fil-A groupies. They camp out all night."
More than 150 people showed up before 6 a.m. at the West Columbia store opening.
Johnston said the franchise would have a similar event when it opens in Five Points.
"It's traditional for all freestanding restaurants," he said.
For information about office space at the Marketplace on Harden, contract Brandy Green at (704) 319-4939.