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Visalia site plan review points to a second In-N-Out location

Visalia site plan review points to a second In-N-Out location

By John Lindt and Paul Myers

@TheSunGazette

VISALIA – Last week’s news that a site plan review filing included a second In-N-Out confirmed that people are crazy about their burgers.

A comment from In-N-Out’s Vice President of Real Estate and Development, Carl Arena, also confirmed the organization is hopeful about a second location in town.

“We do hope to open a second restaurant in Visalia at some point in the future,” Arena said.

The only caveat is that they have to gain all the requisite approval. And that can still take some time, making a schedule difficult to nail down. Although, Arena did note how long construction takes from beginning to end.

“Once we begin construction on a new location, it usually takes us about 5 months to build a restaurant and open for business,” Arena said in a statement. “Because it is still so early in the process, it would be premature to comment on a timeline or if we will even achieve a development approval.”

According to the official site plan review filed with the Visalia Planning Department, from developer Donahue Schriber, the new restaurant would be located on Dinuba Blvd at Riggin across the street from the Target shopping center.

The Sun-Gazette left messages with Donahue Schriber last week to identify a potential timeline for the project, but the firm has still not responded.

Costa Mesa-based Donahue Schriber controls the large parcel marketed as Orchard Walk West with space enough to accommodate over 200,000 square feet of retail uses.

The company had planned to put a Home Depot anchor there back in 2007. But that deal never came together after the recession hit. Still, they did develop Orchard Walk East, a 300,000-square foot shopping center filled with some of the same retailers found on South Mooney Blvd. like Target and Ross.

Now more than a decade later Donahue Schriber has begun to market the parcel again filing plans with the city this week for three separate buildings – each with drive-thru lanes. The plans show a phase 2 for the rest of the property with no specifics.

Donahue Schriber has posted this plan on their website showing In-N-Out and 6 other buildings clustered on the property, several over 22,000 square foot, junior actor size. Total square footage is 164,147 without any phase 2.

Landing the popular burger eatery may help the developer convince other retailers that the traffic will be there to build a new anchor store. This area has attracted big residential projects, new schools and more retail uses within the past few years. A few weeks ago a new Starbucks opened on Riggin at Mooney with Riggin connecting now to Hwy 99.

Certainly landing this restaurant will get the ball rolling. The developer has a big In-N-Out logo plastered on their plans they filed with the city for the proposed corner building.

Besides this new spot the cult chain is said to be close to picking a spot in Tulare – likely along Hwy 99 – to place another eatery. To date, the southern California privately-held company has about 344 locations.

The business has a good reputation. In-N-Out is one of the few fast food chains in the United States to pay its employees more than state and federally mandated minimum wage guidelines starting at $14 per hour in California.

The In-N-Out restaurant chain has developed a highly loyal customer base and has been rated as one of the top fast food restaurants in several customer satisfaction surveys. Founded in 1948. The West Coast chain is headquartered in Irvine. It was found by Harry Snyder and Esther Snyder. None of the locations are franchised.

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