WINNER, WINNER: Chicken dinners likely coming to this site on Broadway at Seventh.

The proposal to take a half-block along Seventh Street from Broadway to Spring for a Chick-fil-A drive-through is headed to the Little Rock City Board agenda.

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To be added Tuesday to the agenda for the July 27 meeting is an ordinance to give the chicken chain a franchise over city right of way (including an alley in the middle of the block) for what is to be primarily a drive-through business on property that once included a McDonald’s and a strip of older commercial buildings on Seventh.

The chicken chain will pay $198,000 for rights to use city property. The ordinance pitches development of another drive-through restaurant as an economic development issue that will contribute to a “vibrant commercial district.”

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Not all are happy with the project. The loss of century-old commercial buildings and a heavy traffic burden on an already busy stretch of Broadway are two issues (as is the Chik-fil-A traffic headache at its location on West Markham). Also, the vehicle-only business is going in a UU zone intended to encourage pedestrian activities. The Quapaw Quarter Association previously expressed some concerns.

However, my prediction is that this cake is baked, with just the franchise icing to come. See the magic words “economic development.” When these words are linked to a national brand name — unaccountably popular to this Popeye’s fan — a proposal is not likely to meet resistance from the mayor’s office or board. The chain owner’s  support for anti-LGBT groups? (The chain itself used to make such contributions, but now leaves it to owner Dan Cathy.) Can’t let that stand in the way of economic development in Little Rock.

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