CRESTVIEW — With construction underway on a Hampton Inn, an auto lube business, and a Dave’s Catfish House, Crestview’s Growth Management Department is fielding rumor inquiries — and questions — about new development.
To confirm two, deny one, and wonder about the fourth, here are the projects currently grinding in the rumor mill:
Publix: Store assistant manager Joe Rezepka said the grocery is going through the permitting process with the city before work can begin on its planned Ferdon Boulevard North location.
Crestview Growth Management Director Teresa Gaillard said the project’s preliminary plans were approved at the Aug. 3 Technical Review Committee meeting.
“They’re working diligently on the rest of their paperwork,” Gaillard said. “A development that big, there’s a lot of hoops they have to jump through. They have to do their traffic study, and that will affect county roads, state roads and city roads.”
The nearly 7-acre site at Airport Road and Industrial Drive includes a prime corner lot that Gaillard said the supermarket might develop later.
“That kind of site is popular with banks, drug stores — anything that’s fast,” she said.
Waffle House: Gaillard said the waffle eatery’s planned third Crestview location will be situated just north of the Teachers Federal Credit Union on Ferdon Boulevard North.
The site is in county jurisdiction, but “They’re applying for out-of-city services,” Gaillard said.
She had no construction timetable, and an email to Waffle House’s communications department was not answered by press time.
Walmart Neighborhood Market: Rumor has it that the retail giant is considering opening a local branch of its food-only grocery store — what Gaillard called a “mini-Walmart” — across State Road 85 near Richbourg Lane.
But, she said, it’s just that: a rumor.
“That has never been brought before the city,” Gaillard said. “We’ve never seen plans for it, not even courtesy plans. All I know is the rumors that have come up.”
Okaloosa County officials, in whose jurisdiction the project would be built, agree.
“We haven’t received anything about that,” county planner Tim Durbin said.
Walmart’s public relations department did not return a phone call seeking comment on the matter.
Chick-Fil-A: Rumors of a Chick-Fil-A coming to Crestview have circulated for years. The latest gossip has the fast food eatery opening in September 2017 in the Ryan’s Family Steak House location.
Whether it’s true or not, Gaillard won’t say.
“I’m not at liberty to discuss anything that hasn’t come before the city,” she said.
The Crestview Ryan’s manager, Oriental Tyson, said the rumor surprised him and his management team.
“We know absolutely nothing,” Tyson said. “We tried to contact the landlord to see if that was happening but we haven’t heard anything.”
Chick-Fil-A corporate public relations senior consultant Mark Baldwin said it’s not unusual for the chain to take over an existing commercial property as they expand into a new market.
However, Baldwin couldn’t confirm whether the cows who encourage motorists passing Chick-Fil-A billboards to “eat mor chikin” have Crestview in their sights “at this time.”
“At this moment the rumor is unsubstantiated,” Tyson said. “I highly doubt a Chick-Fil-A would come into this spot. We are way too big.”