Do you feel like your life could use more flame-grilled burgers? Disappointed that there is no place in Lowell for drive-thru cheesy tots?
Well, then this is news for you.
Last week, the Lowell Planning Commission approved the establishment of a new Burger King in town. It’s planned for the vacant lot in front of Curtis Cleaners, making it neighbors with what will arguably be its biggest competitor: McDonalds.
This won’t be the first time the City of Lowell has had a Burger King. One of the fast food restaurants was originally opened in the city in 1992. It lasted about 20 years before closing around 2012. The city’s Dollar Tree store moved into the restaurant’s old space on Main Street in 2013.
Traffic Control the Main Issue
With the new restaurant slated for a corner lot near the busy intersection of Main Street and Valley Vista, traffic flow was an issue of concern for Planning Commission members.
While visitors will be able to access Burger King from both Main Street and Valley Vista, traffic will only be allowed a right hand turn onto Main Street when exiting. If you need to go left, you’ll have to exit onto Valley Vista and turn left at the light.
Interestingly, traffic was also a concern when the old Burger King was constructed in 1992. According to news reports from the time, residents on West Street were concerned about an access drive from the restaurant increasing traffic on their road. At the time, there were limited sidewalks on West Street, and students walked to Bowes Road to get on the school bus.
Those concerns were largely addressed when Burger King offered to help pay for the installation of sidewalks. At that time, the City of Lowell had a sidewalk program in which residents would pay for half the cost of the sidewalk and the city would pay for the remainder. The resident half could be assessed over a five year period on a property owner’s tax bills, but Burger King picked up the cost for residents as a goodwill gesture.
Nothing like that will be needed this time around although the restaurant is required to get approval from the Michigan Department of Transportation for its drive on Main Street.
Spring Opening Targeted
The new restaurant will be owned by John Gross and Brad Mailloux who are no strangers to Burger King. They already own and operate ten Burger King locations in Michigan, Illinois and Iowa. Their existing Michigan locations include restaurants in Plainwell, Allegan, Wayland, Hastings and Portland.
According to Mailloux, the Lowell location should be open in early spring of 2019 if all goes well. It is anticipated to employ 30 workers.
Note: This article was updated at 11:18am on November 20, 2018 to include information about the owners, timelines and expected employment.