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New chicken spot to open in Pan Am Shopping Center

Pan Am Shopping Center (file photo)

(Updated at 3:30 p.m.) A new chicken spot is opening soon for Merrifield’s Pan Am Shopping Center.

Chicka Loca plans to open at the shopping center in mid-May at 3089 Nutley Street.

Owner Pedram Kanzi says his restaurant will offer 25 percent off all menu items for the first two weeks of opening.

“I’m thrilled to share a piece of my culture with the Fairfax community,” Kanzi said. “It feels surreal to be opening my very first restaurant — a dream that has been years in the making.”

A precise opening date hasn’t been set yet.

With a ramen and Korean barbecue restaurant also slated to open in the coming months, Pan Am Shopping Center continues to add new tenants, even as Federal Realty Investment Trust eyes it for redevelopment, though that could take several years to come to fruition.

“Federal Realty Investment Trust has taken the first steps toward seeking approval for a mix of uses at Pan Am,” said Deirdre Johnson, senior vice resident of asset management. “It should be noted that this project could take several years to bring to fruition. Our relationships with our merchants are extremely important to us, including Michael’s and Micro Center, and we plan to incorporate them into the property for many years to come.”

She says the company plans to work with all stakeholders to create “something that is successful, vibrant and something that can positively define the community.”

The proposal submitted to Fairfax County in March would transform the strip mall into a mixed-use development with three residential buildings, townhouse, and a public plaza.

In addition to the Micro Center and Michaels block, structures slated for demolition include the now-vacant, standalone McDonald’s building, and the Wells Fargo bank in the center’s northwest corner, which will be replaced by a 5,000-square-foot retail building.

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