Rite Aid is in.
KFC is out.
And In-N-Out is coming to The shops at Rossmoor.
The Seal Beach Planning Commission approved a series of projects for The Shops at Rossmoor Wednesday night, including an In-N-Out Burger and a Rite Aid pharmacy that will replace the old Chevron Station and the current KFC at the corner of Seal Beach Boulevard and St. Cloud Drive. The City Council will have final say over the projects, but the plans put to rest swirling rumors about two prominent yet vacant parcels at The Shops.
While planning commissioners expressed concerns with landscaping, drive thru lines and traffic, there was little suspense as to whether the proposed In-N-Out at Seal Beach Boulevard and Town Center Drive would meet with approval.
“How soon can we get out first hamburger,” asked Planning Commissioner Esther Cummings.
The Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce endorsed the project at Wednesday’s meeting, calling In-N-Out “a hallmark of Southern California.”
“In the beginning it will be a madhouse,” predicted Planning Commission Chairwoman Sandra Massa-Lavitt, who also sought additional landscaping to block the view of the drive thru from the street.
The fast-food chain known for its fresh-cut fries and long drive thru lines is expected to generate nearly 1,400 car trips a day, according to a traffic study of the project. The average drive thru queue during peak hours is expected to be about eight or nine cars.
However the restaurant may get a little busier than that in the beginning, acknowledged John Puente Jr., In-N-Out representative.
“We have a honeymoon period with the store,” he said. “I think there is this perception that we are busy all of the time every day, but we’re a business just like everyone else with peak hours. Rarely do we have a store that gets 16 to 17 cars (lined up) on a daily basis.”
The commission also approved plans for a 24-hour Rite Aid at the corner of St. Cloud Drive and Seal Beach Boulevard. It will replace the recently torn-down Chevron station, and it will also push out the existing KFC, one of the oldest existing businesses at The Shops at Rossmoor.
Most notably, the Rite Aid will sit directly across the street from CVS pharmacy.
However, the new pharmacy may have some tricks to handle the competition. Once built, the new store will model a prototype for high-end pharmacies, said Tracy Verastegui, Rite Aid Real Estate director. One of the chain’s “Health and Wellness” stores, it would have additional features such as a “customer-service ambassador” armed with an ipad to help shoppers pick out the appropriate vitamins, said Verastegui.