Both brands have a presence in the Portland region, although Five Guys has a larger local footprint, boasting a dozen Portland metro restaurants including two in Clark County – one in Hazel Dell and one at the east end of Mill Plain Boulevard.
Chick-fil-A has two locations in the Portland area and opened its first Clark County location near the Columbia Tech Center in 2016, drawing huge crowds and quite a few overnight campers hoping to be among the first 100 customers, who were promised free meals for a year as part of a grand opening promotion.
Plans for the Vancouver Mall satellite project emerged last fall when Centennial submitted a preliminary application to the city of Vancouver to develop the building on a 1.9-acre section of the parking lot a short distance west of the C-Tran transit center.
The pre-application plans described a building divided into two sections: a roughly 5,000 square foot space connected to a drive-thru and a smaller adjacent section with roughly 3,900 square feet of space.
The Chick-fil-A will take the larger drive-thru space, according to the Centennial leasing diagram, and the Five Guys will take up 2,300 square feet next door. The remaining 1,576 square foot section doesn’t have a listed tenant on the diagram.
After the preliminary plans were submitted in September, Vancouver Mall general manager JB Schutte said the drive-thru space would go to a fast food restaurant and the smaller space would be split between two high-turnover, sit-down restaurants.
At the time he said the mall was still negotiating with potential tenants, and described the earliest possible opening time as 2020.
The mall has undergone several remodeling projects throughout its life, but the satellite building is the first major addition of new space since the 1980s.
The project is one of several investments that Centennial has made in the years after it bought the mall from Westfield in 2015, Schutte said — other projects have included new stairs and lighting.
Schutte said the satellite restaurant building has been under discussion for several years, eyed as a way to expand the mall’s role as an eating and entertainment destination in addition to a shopping center.
“We’ve got a substantial amount of extra parking, and there seems to be a demand for more restaurants,” he said in September.
The project will result in a net loss of 82 mall parking spaces, but the pre-application stated that the mall would still have an excess of spaces. The parking lot has about 5,000 spaces overall, according to mall staff.