CASA GRANDE — It’s official: The Casa Grande KFC sign will rotate once more. As part of a planned rebuild of the current franchise on Florence Boulevard, the currently immobile signage will be renovated so it can spin.
A newly spinning sign is part of a planned site redevelopment that was approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission on Thursday.
“The sign is pretty awesome,” said John Gerdes, owner of Texas Land Engineers Inc., the firm that is redeveloping the site. “We will clean it up and make it pretty. I wanted to add strobe lights and neon, but I think we will just get it to spin again and leave it where it’s at.”
This is the second time that the KFC in Casa Grande is getting a rebuild. Several board members also noted that company founder Colonel Sanders himself visited the city in 1978.
Gerdes said the plan is to build the new KFC on the edge of the property so that the current restaurant could stay open as long as possible, allowing for only a few weeks’ period between closing the old and opening the new space, which will add drive-thru capacity.
“The new space is due to trends,” Gerdes said. “Very few people are coming in for sit-down service anymore. DoorDash changed things completely, everything is through a drive-thru. This space got small on us pretty quickly.”
The KFC rebuild was one of five projects discussed at the meeting. The other commercial projects approved were a second Super Star Car Wash location within Casa Grande, also along Florence Boulevard, and a new site plan for the auto mall that will move into the old Sam’s Club on the eastern side of the city.
City planner James Gagliardi explained that the staff had added some corrections to the site plan to account for public concerns about how the new auto mall would affect the neighborhood. The plan now prohibits loudspeakers and mandates no after-hour delivery truck parking or idling within 300 feet of the residential area.
The auto mall was announced earlier this year when the city approved changes to the Mission Royale planned area development to allow for auto sales and service use. Once completed, the site will have an additional 37,000-square-foot building as well as a renovated façade on the old Sam’s Club building.
Other items approved included a zone change to allow for additional lots within the planned Sonoran Heights neighborhood, at the northeast corner of Henness and Earley roads, which can now accommodate 995 single-family homes, up from an originally planned 750. The board also approved housing design plans and construction of model homes within the proposed Tuscany neighborhood, northwest of Peart and Earley roads, one of the last “zombie” subdivisions from the 2006-07 period.
Currently, developers are repairing walls and landscaping prior to building the model homes, after the partially developed plat had sat derelict for so many years.
The commission will next meet on Oct. 21 at 6 p.m. in the City Council chambers.