In-N-Out Burger could be in Tualatin in a year or so, other restaurants planned
In all goes as planned, Tualatin might see an In-N-Out burger at the former Village Inn site in 12 to 18 months from now.
And it won't likely be the last in the Portland-metro area.
On Thursday evening, Cassie Yee, a project manager for In-n-Out Burger, hosted a virtual neighborhood meeting attended by 70 participants. Many of the questions centered on potential traffic problems that could be caused by the long drive-thru lines the chain's other restaurants have experienced upon opening.
But Yee said some of those lines might be alleviated if and when other planned In-N-Out Burger restaurants open as well, saying the restaurant chain often opens more than one restaurant at a time when it enters a metropolitan market.
"We are exploring some possible locations in possibly Beaverton, maybe Happy Valley, Hillsboro, Oregon City, perhaps Vancouver, Wash.," said Yee. "It would be really premature to guess or … assume that if Tualatin or any of our other four Portland-area locations would be the next up to open or the first to open."
Plans in Tualatin are to open one of the popular California-based burger chains in the now closed Village Inn restaurant site, which would be demolished.
"Our site plan is served by a drive-thru lane that can fit 23 cars. It's 483 feet long, which is three times as long as what the City of Tualatin guidelines require," said Yee. "Additionally, there's 51 total parking spaces that serve the restaurant, which is 12 more than what's require by city traffic code."
Yee acknowledged too that east of the proposed In-N-Out Burger is where a proposed terminus station for the Southwest Corridor Light Rail Project is planned, which is part of a Metro ballot measure that will be sent to voters in the fall.
"It's really exciting," she said. "It would bring a whole new dynamic to this area. It could possibly alleviate traffic from here to Portland."
Yee said the Tualatin site, which she said is in an early design and planning process, would include double drive-thru lanes and 10,954 square feet of landscaping, which is three times the size of the building.
"I think we've come up with a building that complements the area quite nicely and complements the city of Tualatin," she said.
She said traffic concerns were among the most frequently asked questions about the site to date.
"Creating or causing traffic problems in the community is never our intention at any location," said Yee.
She pointed out that there would be no access off either Lower Boones Ferry Road or Southwest 72nd Avenue, rather it would Jean Road. (Jean Road is the current entrance to the Village Inn Restaurant, which shut down for good in May.)
Yee said the burger chain realizes traffic is a big issue but pointed out that the area is zoned and designed for commercial areas such as Bridgeport Village with infrastructure already in place designed to hold high volumes of traffic.
She said a traffic study is forthcoming and that both the City of Tualatin and a third-party engineer will peer-review the study when it's completed.
Noting the long lines at the Keizer In-N-Out Burger, Yee said initial fears that customers would try to pull over on the shoulder of I-5 and jump over the fence to access the Keizer Station restaurant never materialized, and that businesses in the complex haven't been blocked.
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