Cliff Williams / The Outlook Property along U.S. Highway 280 in front of the Alexander City Municipal Complex will soon see changes as construction of a Chick-Fil-A begins.

A favorite chicken sandwich and its famed response delivering food should be available in Alexander City by year’s end.

Contractors will break ground on a standalone Chick-Fil-A by the end of the month on property purchased by Alexander City when it purchased the old Russell Sales Office to transform into a municipal complex almost three years ago. The idea of a restaurant such as Chick-Fil-A (CFA) has been in the minds of city leaders for years.

“It was the vision of then Mayor Jim Nabors and the city council to acquire the former Russell Sales Office and accompanying land for two primary reasons,” Alexander City Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Ed Collari said. “The first was to refurbish the municipal complex for the benefit of city employees, which they rightfully deserve. The second was to use the real estate along U.S. Highway 280 to attract high demand retailers to our market.”

Conversations about Chick-Fil-A have been ongoing for years but began in earnest about 16 months ago. March 4, 2020 the Alexander City City Council approved a six-month memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Cory Presnick of CORTA LLC. The undisclosed details of the MOU were CORTA, who had relationships with CFA executives to pursue bringing the restaurant to Alexander City. Just a week later the COVID-19 pandemic struck and CFA turned its attention inward during the early stages of the pandemic. The MOU would expire Sept. 4 and in November CFA expressed interest in the market. The council would extend the MOU for another six months. In December the council approved an agreement to provide approximately 2.52 acres in front of the new municipal complex to bring Chick-Fil-A to Alexander City.

The city will still retain property along U.S. Highway 280 for further development but the agreement with CFA doesn’t allow another restaurant where chicken is the primary menu item to locate on the remainder of the 4.11 acre parcel the city owns.

“With the chamber serving in our retail recruitment role for the city, the city council specifically requested that we pursue Chick-Fil-A for this parcel,” Collari said. “The council understood the value of this real estate and they provided the resources to make this deal happen.”

The addition of CFA to Alexander City will benefit other employers in the area as the restaurant hires and trains the young people of Tallapoosa County.

“One of the biggest challenges in economic development is workforce development,” Collari said. “Having a top-notch retailer like Chick-Fil-A, who has a stellar culture, core values and reputation for developing people is a huge asset for our community.”

Collari is happy CFA sees value in Alexander City and happy CFA will satisfy a want in the area.

“It’s an exciting addition to the retail landscape in Alexander City and the Lake Martin community,” Collari said. “In my five-plus years at the chamber, if there is one retailer I get asked about most often, it’s Chick-Fil-A. To be able to partner with the city council and the leadership at the city to make this deal come together is a huge win for our community.”

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.