In-N-Out Burger and several other restaurants look to open in Surprise.
A handful of permit approvals are all that’s keeping Surprise residents from their most-requested restaurant: In-N-Out Burger.
The popular burger joint, along with several other restaurants, a Starbucks and a frozen yogurt shop, are expected to open at the southwestern corner of Bell Road and Civic Center Drive. The new eateries will go up on vacant land along Surprise’s busiest commercial corridor.
In-N-Out Burger topped the list of most desired restaurants on the city’s 2017 retail survey of residents. For now, the nearest In-N-Out Burger is about 10 miles away in the Arrowhead area of Glendale.
In-N-Out Burger is developing its Surprise location, while Thompson Thrift, which has an office in Phoenix, is developing other nearby restaurants that include:
- Raising Cane’s.
- Tokyo Joe’s.
- Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt.
Raising Cane’s is known for its chicken strips and specialty sauces, while Pieology is a California-based pizza chain and Tokyo Joe’s is an “Americanized” Japanese restaurant.
The five spots should open this fall, a Thompson Thrift spokesperson said. The timing on In-N-Out Burger’s opening isn’t yet known.
When will In-N-Out open?
Carl Arena, vice president of development for In-N-Out, said it was too early in the development process to give an expected construction or opening date on the In-N-Out Burger, but he noted construction normally takes four to five months.
Surprise Community Development Director Eric Fitzer said In-N-Out developers submitted concept plans a few months ago, but neither its site plans nor its building plans were approved.
“The project is technically conceptual when it comes to this point, because it has yet to receive formal approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission,” Fitzer said. He noted, however, that 90 percent of concept reviews are rejected after the first review, and roughly half are rejected during the second review.
A sign of growth in City Center
The restaurants will be at the northern edge of City Center, an area that Surprise leaders have long sought to see developed into a downtown area.
Hundreds of acres of City Center land, from Bell to Greenway roads and Litchfield Road to Bullard Avenue, are owned by Surprise Center Development Co., which is an affiliate of Phoenix-based Carefree Partners.
The city filed a lawsuit against the developer in 2014, saying the company was taking too long to develop the area. The developer countersued and the two sides agreed to negotiate a formal settlement in February 2016.
The settlement still has not been formally adopted. However, Surprise Center Development sold a slice of the land near Bell Road to Thompson Thrift for the restaurant development.
Still some hiccups
Other development in City Center, proposed single-family residences by Mattamy Homes, was shot down by a split City Council earlier this month.
Mayor Sharon Wolcott and the council majority said they wanted to see high-density housing, such as condominiums or apartments that would attract Millennials, rather than more single-family homes.
The developers said several focus group studies show a higher interest in single-family homes.
Whether high-density housing would attract Millennials to Surprise, one new development in City Center will: a university.
The Surprise Campus Provost Dennis Tyner recently boasted that 350 students are expected to enroll in the fall semester, more than originally was anticipated.
Tyner noted the roughly 350 students weren’t considered “enrolled,” because they had only signed letters of intent. Tyner said 140 students have paid deposits to Ottawa and that staff are working to get payments from the rest.
Ottawa officials aim for 3,000 total students within the decade.
Rick West, president of Carefree Partners, said it’s too early for him to shape future development decisions based on Ottawa’s budding student body.
“Until (Ottawa) gets a cadre of students, it won’t make much difference,” West said. “But someday — the hope is there.”
Read or Share this story: http://azc.cc/2tFSxdF