Although the company has not received a final approval on their site plan from the City of Milford, all signs point to the arrival of Chick-fil-A in Milford in the near future. The pad site that the new Chick-fil-A is to be located on in the Milford Plaza was approved by the Development and Advisory Commission (DAC) last month. DAC is the first step in the process to development, allowing businesses to submit building plans before they are presented and reviewed by the Milford Planning and Zoning Commission.
The DAC meeting is meant to guide businesses through the proposal process before they reach the Planning and Zoning Commission. After they are presented and accepted by the Planning and Zoning Commission, construction of the property can begin. Before the Planning and Zoning Commission can approve the development of the property, the business must receive documentation of approval from the Delaware Department of Transportation, State Fire Marshall’s Office, Division of Soil and Water Conservation and Milford Public Works Department.
Officials at the the City of Milford have stated that Chick-fil-A has submitted a preliminary site plan on the pad site in the Milford Plaza that is currently vacant. According to the office of the City Planner of Milford, receiving approval from the necessary state agencies for the final site plan should not be a problem for the national company.
The Plaza at Milford on North Dupont Highway is currently undergoing a $4 million renovation that includes construction of several new retail locations between Peebles Department Store and Donut Connection. Angela Tsionas-Matulas of Tsionas Management, who owns the center, says that she expects Milford Plaza to have a completely different look once the renovations are complete.
The upgrades to the center include a completely renovated façade, overhang and lighting replacement and sidewalk additions. The front of The Plaza, which has remained basically unchanged since the center was completed in 1973, will now have stone-stucco columns, adding a more attractive, aesthetic look. The parking lot will be completely repaved as part of the renovation and an attempt to attract new businesses to the shopping center.
“Everything right now looks good at this time,” commented Ms. Tsionas-Matulas of Tsionas Management, the company that owns The Plaza at Milford when asked about the process for constructing of a new Chick-fil-A. “The business must go through final approval on its site plans but I think the City will support it.”
Milford City Planner Gary Norris has been working diligently for 6 years to attract a Chick-fil-A to the city of Milford but has always been met with concern from the company over the relatively small population of Milford. Due to their continued need for a larger more engaged customer base, Mr. Norris believes that Chick-fil-A must have performed an economic study in order to make the initial investment to take a closer look at the Milford community.
“If Chick-fil-A comes to Milford it will put us on the map,” commented Mr. Norris. “Their investment would speak well of the City of Milford and its focus on economic development. Other businesses will be looking closely at Milford to see how this business is received.”
City officials state that if Chick-fil-A submits its application for the final site plan to be approved by November 30, it could be voted on in the December 18 Planning & Zoning Commission meeting.