Another step has been taken toward Shake Shack’s arrival in Richmond.
The former Applebee’s building at 5400 W. Broad St. was razed this week, clearing a path for the fast-food chain’s first area location in the Willow Place shopping center.
The New York-based burger joint will build a 3,200-square-foot restaurant on the site, complete with a drive-thru and outdoor dining area. Plans for Shake Shack’s entrance to the Richmond market were first reported in February.
Sauer Properties owns the land and is leasing it to Shake Shack. Sauer Properties also owns the rest of the surrounding Willow Place shopping center and President Ashley Peace joked that she’d been waiting two years to be able to knock down the vacant Applebee’s.
“We’re cruising through the approval process,” Peace said. “We’ve filed the plan of development for Shake Shack and we’re in that review process. Once that’s approved, we’ll start construction.”
Shake Shack is aiming to open in 2023, but it’s unclear when precisely next year it’ll fire up its grills. Spokespeople for the company weren’t available for comment by press time.
S.B. Cox handled the demolition of the site. ED Lewis & Associates is the project’s civil engineer.
The remainder of the 77,000-square-foot Willow Place shopping center is also slated for redevelopment but Peace said the company is still working on the design and that parts of the nearly 30-year-old center will be reused.
“It’s a little early but we’re definitely working on the full redevelopment. We’re creatively reusing some of the shells because of the increasing construction costs right now and inflation,” Peace said. “But it’s going to be a total transformation with a new junior anchor and an anchor.”