Chick-Fil-A, Taco Bell, LA Fitness approved for GM site

A Walmart Supercenter, which is set to open in November, is the only completed building at the Legacy Square shopping plaza, which will be joined by an LA Fitness gym and restaurants Chick-Fil-A and Taco Bell.

LINDEN, N.J. — A Chick-Fil-A, Taco Bell, and LA Fitness will be coming to the Legacy Square development on U.S. Routes 1 & 9 following approval from the Linden Planning Board at its Oct. 8 meeting.

Although no timetable was given, the three new businesses will be part of a 47-acre complex comprising multiple buildings opposite the Linden Airport, occupying the site of the former Linden Assembly General Motors plant. The 2.6 million-square-foot factory operated from 1937 to 2005, and built Buicks, Cadillacs, Chevrolets, Oldsmobiles and Pontiacs.

Legacy Square developers broke ground at the site more than a year ago.

Brad Thompson, a senior project manager with Bohler Engineering, said a one-story, 41,000-square-foot building will hold the LA Fitness. The gym’s landscaping was approved at the previous hearing. James O’Sullivan, an architect representing LA Fitness, stated that the property will feature more than 300 parking spaces. The gym will feature a 4.5-foot deep, three-lane lap pool and will be open 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 7 a.m. to 7p.m. on weekends. Like Chick-Fil-A, the gym will be only the second of its brand in Union County. The LA Fitness will sit adjacent to a Walmart, which occupies the largest building in the complex along Pleasant Street and is set to open next month.

The Taco Bell will be 2,100 square feet with 42 indoor seats and 12 outdoor seats, operating from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m., while the Chick-Fil-A will be 5,100 square feet with outdoor seating and a drive-through window; it will be the second in the county although there are two others about 4 miles south in Woodbridge, one in the Woodbridge Center Mall.

An architect’s map of the Legacy Square shopping plaza, built on the site of the old GM factory in Linden along Edgard Road — better known as U.S. Routes 1 & 9, shows the location of the soon-to-open Walmart, upper left, LA Fitness, upper center, and several restaurants, bottom.

There are three additional proposed restaurant spaces in the complex which, according to architectural drawings, would front U.S. Routes 1 & 9, also known as West Edgar Road. There will be 700 plants put in and around the LA Fitness and another 160 around the Taco Bell.

In other activity, the Linden Planning Board at its Oct. 8 meeting also approved the redevelopment of a property at 364 Miner Terrace. A house on the property that previously fronted Knopf Street has been demolished and the construction of a two-family home is to begin within 30 days. The attached homes will have 6,000 square feet total with 2,000 square feet of living space each and both with a one-car garage. Each will have three to four bedrooms; each unit will be put up for sale.

Finally, the board unanimously approved construction of a warehouse at 801 East Elizabeth Ave.

“Seven months ago, when we acquired the property, there was a previous owner who cut down a lot of trees, left a lot of trash,” property owner Felix Lettini said. “I brought in an excavator. I cleaned the property. We had no issue of runoff. That’s all that was done to the property.”