Chick-Fil-A to move forward with Midtown location after agreement - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Andrew Douglas

Chick-Fil-A to move forward with Midtown location after agreement

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A plan to preserve history while building a new restaurant in Midtown Memphis is moving forward, as Chick-Fil-A has received approval to build a restaurant on Union Avenue right next to the WMC-TV studios.

Thursday, the Memphis and Shelby County Land Use Control Board said the company could continue with its plans, due to an agreement to keep a portion of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church intact.

Chick-Fil-A agreed to keep the front of the church's structure facing the road intact while building its business in the back.  The board allowed the restaurant to tear down the rest of the building. 

Initially, the restaurant had no plans to save any portion of the church, but through negotiations with Memphis Heritage, the restaurant will open with the church facade firmly in place.

"We're saving a very historic facade -- a very attractive tower on the corner of the site at Rembert and Union -- and the facade of the adjacent building next of it to the east of it," said Marty Gorman of Memphis Heritage.  "You're seeing some great architecture. Some windows, some openings that are going to be preserved."

The portion of the church that will be saved will be part of the restaurant's outdoor eating area.

Chick-Fil-A purchased the church, which was built in the 1950's, for nearly $1.2 million.  Officials estimate the new restaurant will open in 12-18 months.

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