In 2016, concerns about car traffic scuttled Chick-fil-A’s plans for a drive-thru location at 4422 Connecticut Avenue. The chain’s second bid to open a Van Ness restaurant is less likely to cause traffic jams.
There could, however, be a lot more foot traffic at the UDC Student Center at 4200 Connecticut. The University of the District of Columbia says Chick-fil-A will open a restaurant inside.
In a December 8th update on major facilities projects at its Van Ness and Bertie Backus campuses, the university said the student center renovation includes “constructing and installing two main kitchen areas, a catering kitchen, food storage, food preparation and customer services areas.” Chick-fil-A and Fuddruckers kiosks are being added “to support the cafeteria.” The target completion date is spring 2023.
The PSC was reviewing Chick-fil-A’s request for a permit to widen the curb cut for the drive-thru entrance on Connecticut Avenue. Chick-fil-A is well known both for its chicken sandwiches and for vehicle traffic backups at its drive-thru locations across the U.S. Committee members and witnesses spoke of their concerns about additional vehicle traffic and the increased risk to pedestrians who would have to navigate the busier drive-thru entry and exit lanes. Local leaders invited Chick-fil-A to instead open a walkup location, as it was doing in Tenleytown. But company representatives insisted that a Van Ness location would not get enough foot traffic to make it viable.
Other UDC facilities projects in the works include a complete overhaul of 4250 Connecticut. The university purchased the 225,000 square foot building in 2020 from Fannie Mae, and its current uses include faculty and staff offices, and classroom swing space. The renovation, UDC says, will transform it into “the academic hub of the Van Ness Campus.” In addition, MOM’s Organic Market is opening a supermarket on the ground floor in summer 2023.