JOHNSTOWN — Liberty Restaurant Development cleared a key hurdle earlier this week in its push to open Fulton County’s first Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.
The bayou-themed fast-food joint is anticipated to open at some point near the end of this year or the beginning of next year.
“They’ll do a pretty substantial grand opening for a few days,” said Brett Steenburgh, an Niskayuna-based engineer contracted with Liberty Restaurant Development. “Yeah, they tend to do that.”
Following review from the county, Johnstown city planning officials on Tuesday approved site plans for the 2,532-square-foot restaurant in the North Comrie Avenue arterial area.
“It tends to be an easy municipality to do business in,” said Steenburgh.
The nearest Popeyes is 11 miles away in Amsterdam. Rival Kentucky Fried Chicken sits down the road.
Suburbia-focused Liberty Restaurant Development began studying the area late last year and, deeming the market suitable for business, submitted an application in January.
Since then, the process has been smooth sailing. Neither noise pollution, high-volume water usage nor chemical use is expected. Traffic during peak hours (about 62 trips) isn’t expected to impact the surrounding area.
One abutting business owner expressed concerns at the Tuesday Planning Board meeting regarding runoff. Steenburgh is willing to speak to the developer about adding additional landscaping and extending the curb to ensure that water is properly redirected.
“Minor edits like that can be added and maybe picked up on during the building permit process when they’re still reviewing the building plans as well as the site plans to see what works,” Steenburgh said.
Construction documents are expected to be fine-funded in the weeks ahead as Liberty Restaurant Development still needs to obtain a building permit.
Currently occupying the land is Cranesville Block Company, which plans to shutter operations on North Comrie Avenue and lease out existing land. Storage sheds and an old garage would be destroyed in order to make way for the new $1.3 million fast-food facility.
Construction is slated to begin in May.
Tyler A. McNeil can be reached at 518-395-3047 or [email protected] Follow him on Facebook at Tyler A. McNeil, Daily Gazette or Twitter @TylerAMcNeil.