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Developers working to locate a new Popeyes fast food restaurant in Cairo got the green light Thursday night from the Cairo Planning Commission.
Alec Lesley and John Quinn of Southeastern Retail Development, LLC appeared before the planning commission last week seeking a variance from the setback requirements in the city code for the Popeyes project. The developers confirmed the prospect was Popeyes as The Messenger had previously reported.
The proposed new location of the chain restaurant is now the site of Capital City Bank’s U.S. 84 drive-up window branch located at 397 U.S. Highway 84 East.
The bank previously announced plans to close the branch location on Nov. 30.
Lesley told the planning commission members, which included Chairman Hansel Bearden and commissioners James Gerth and Tom Brown, the bank building would be razed to make way for the new restaurant building.
Lesley said the variance was being requested to provide a wider footprint for access to the drive-up window. He also said Southeastern Retail had been involved in other Popeyes projects in Bainbridge and Byron, Ga. as well as a “couple in Florida.”
The Southeastern Retail principal also said the firm is working with the Georgia Department of Transportation on the entrance and exit on U.S. 84. The proposed new eatery also will continue to have access from Fourth Street N.E.
According to Lesley, the new restaurant will create 30-40 local jobs.
Commissioner Gerth offered a motion to approve the variance which was seconded by Commissioner Brown and passed unanimously with Chairman Bearden voting in favor of the motion.
Due to COVID-19, this was the first meeting of the Planning Commission since July 16. Minutes of that meeting were approved unanimously.
Chairman Bearden said he intended to consult with Cairo city manager Chris Addleton concerning appointment of a new commissioner to fill an existing vacancy.