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Second Chick-fil-A in Middletown not a done deal


Subdivision approval for creating a separate tax parcel that could be home to Middletown's second Chick-fil-A was recommended Wednesday by the township Planning Commission.

The board of supervisors will consider approving the subdivision, which would carve out a 1.88-acre lot from the 12.82-acre Langhorne Square Shopping Center at 1503 E. Lincoln Highway (Business Route 1), at a meeting sometime in the next few weeks or months.

Still, it’s unclear whether Chick-fil-A will move forward with the location, which would be roughly a mile from an existing one at Lincoln Plaza, adjacent to the Oxford Valley Mall.

If eventually built, the Langhorne Square Chick-fil-A would be constructed on what is now parking lot between the Inspire Credit Union and Starbucks at the shopping center that also includes a Floor Decor, Redner's Market, Panera Bread and many other establishments.

At Wednesday's meeting, Waterstone Development Company Senior Vice-President Dan Gustafson and his local attorney on the matter, Mike Meginniss, explained that the proposed new Chick-fil-A received land development approval from the Middletown supervisors in November of 2021. Soon afterward, Waterstone — former owner of Langhorne Square — sold the center to another entity with an agreement that the 1.88 acres would be conveyed back to Waterstone provided the subdivision was approved.

Since the land development approval and sale of the center, Chick-fil-A only needs building permits to proceed with construction of the new restaurant but has not yet moved to do so for reasons not related to the subdivision, Gustafson and Meginniss said.

"They are doing their due diligence," said Meginniss after the meeting, referring to road improvement, traffic control and other requirements of the land development approval. Gustafson added he is "cautiously optimistic" Chick-fil-A will move ahead with construction on the pending new lot.

"We are hopeful it will be a Chick-fil-A but cannot guarantee Chick-fil-A will develop the site," Meginniss said during the meeting. If not, and the subdivision is approved, Waterstone would seek an alternative for the site that would be a commercial establishment complying with all zoning requirements for the location, he added.

Another possible scenario if the subdivision is not approved by the supervisors is that Chick-fil-A could decide to move ahead under the new owners of Langhorne Square, township Solicitor Jim Esposito explained.

A resident who lives near Langhorne Square in the Highland Park section of the township spoke at length during public comment about how she opposes the proposed new Chick-fil-A because of the added traffic and other problems she feels it would bring to the center and surrounding neighborhoods. The popular chain is known for its long drive-through lines, including at the existing Middletown Chick-fil-A at Lincoln Plaza.

"Every day I look out my window and am grateful there is no Chick-fil-A," she said.

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