Chick-fil-A coming to Downey

Chick-fil-A plans to open a new location in Downey and construction could start before the end of the year, city officials announced Tuesday. The restaurant is tentatively scheduled to be constructed on Firestone Boulevard, on city-owned property between Arby's and Fallas Paredes, said Brian Saeki, the city's community development director.

Saeki announced the news as he updated council members on local development projects.

Chick-fil-A operates more than 1,600 restaurants across much of the U.S. The restaurant is famously closed Sundays, attributable to its founder's Christian beliefs.

Saeki also announced preliminary plans for a townhouse development at the northwest corner of Lakewood Boulevard and Gallatin Road.

Forty-six town homes ranging in size from 1,500-2,000 square feet may be built on a storage lot previously utilized by Downey Ford. The development is still in its early stages, Saeki stressed.

A commercial development is also in the works for the Downey Ford property - on the southeast corner of the same intersection - but it is too early to offer many details, Saeki said.

In other news, Saeki said:

*discount hardware store Harbor Freight is moving into the former Long's Drug store at Downey Landing;

*plans continue for a 100,000 square foot medical office development at Paramount Boulevard and 7th Street;

*the former All-American Home Center site may be redeveloped soon, although property owner Jerry Andrews has not disclosed details;

*Hometown Hardware and Garden - owned and operated by former All-American Home Center executives - is renovating the interior of the former Vons building and hopes to open in time for Memorial Day;

*Champion Fiat is constructing a new showroom and plans to unveil its Alfa Romeo line of cars later this year;

*the Hall of Fame Market (formerly Hi Ho Market) on Downey Avenue expects to open in early May;

*the Lock & Key sports bar will open in the former D'Arte store downtown and will offer "a very diverse menu";

*Wal-Mart is conducting extensive renovations as it prepares to open a grocery store at the former Alin's Party Depot on Paramount Boulevard;

*construction of The View housing project downtown could start in August or September if the developer's application for federal tax credits are approved;

*construction of Downey Gateway, the food court at Firestone Boulevard and Downey Gateway, is in full swing, and city officials soon plan to tour the site.

"Despite the sluggish economy, we continue to stay busy," Saeki said.