KFC, Starbucks, Taco Bell construction not likely this year

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Last year, Yellowknife residents received some promising news, the beloved fast food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken – plus Starbucks and a Taco Bell – was coming back to town.

But it doesn’t look like it will be happening anytime soon.

The 251 Old Airport Road Lot remains still and silent despite the city already entering it’s peak construction season.
Brett McGarry/NNSL photo

Bryan Long, director of development and construction at Soul Foods Group, said he is “losing hope” that the three-restaurant fast food plaza development on Old Airport Road will be completed this year.

“We’re working with the city now,” said Long. “We’re working on a revised site plan and getting it approved hopefully this week or next week.”

Long said the city has been very proactive and accommodating, but he could not be specific on the reason for the site plan change. He could disclose, however, that the restaurants going into the plaza could change.

“It’s always up for discussion in terms of who our tenants may be,” said Long. “It depends on a lot of things like lease negotiations, space requirements, confidence in the market, (this) all plays into who the players may be.”

As far as KFC is concerned, Long said nothing can be confirmed completely but “in all likelihood it will probably go in.”

City council unanimously approved the conditional use permit for food and beverage outlets on the Old Airport Road site on June 25, 2018. The plan at the time called for a fast food plaza with a KFC, Starbucks and Taco Bell.

Richard McIntosh, a communications officer with the city, told Yellowknifer the project has been approved and any further questions should be put to developers.

Yellowknifer inquired about Soul Foods’ request to amend its development plan but had not heard back from the city by press time.

Soul Foods Group, an international UK-based company that owns the franchises, hired Guy Architects to design the layout of the plaza. Clark Builders was hired as project manager.

A Clark Builders representative said, “at this time there is no update available on the project.”

Last June, when the permit was approved, Wayne Guy of Guy Architects said he would like to break ground the following month.

Responding to concerns of potential congestion in the area, a plan was developed to extend the left hand turning lane on Old Airport Road onto Range Lake Road. Construction for the lane extension is currently underway.

But the lot at 251 Old Airport Road, valued at $2,000,000 and owned by Soul Real Estate Inc., remains vacant and undeveloped.

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