You are here
Home > News > Why Is The McChicken Crossing The Road?

Why Is The McChicken Crossing The Road?

According to multiple sources, we are hearing that McDonald’s plans to relocate diagonally across Hull & Commerce Streets.

Apparently, the McDonald’s is in need of significant renovation. We are told the franchise has decided it would make more sense to build a new restaurant diagonally across the street, rather than renovating the current building, or rebuilding at the current location.

It is not clear when McDonald’s intends to begin construction, nor is it clear when they expect the new store to be complete. Apparently construction was supposed to have begun in 2015, but permitting with the City of Richmond delayed the franchise’s plans. As it currently stands, there is no obvious sign of any work that is about to commence at either location.

If the relocation and new construction does take place, it would be a somewhat favorable development. One can only hope that the new construction spruces up what has become an eyesore at the entrance to the Hull Street Business District at Semmes Avenue. It would also go a long way to filling a portion of what is currently an enormous empty parking lot that takes up an entire city block.

Now with that having been said, if McDonald’s does move, it begs the obvious question: What will be built at the current McDonald’s site? I am sure there are plenty of exciting possibilities for such a prominent location, but there are more questions than answers at this point. We will do our best to keep you updated as we learn more.

24 thoughts on “Why Is The McChicken Crossing The Road?

  1. Interesting news! Perhaps someone could interview the owner of the McDonald’s franchise at 821 Hull Street; from what I could gather, it is Mr. Pete Washington, who is also a member of the Hull Street Merchants Association. While it may be true that I currently rarely eat at a McDonald’s, years ago, in my rural small town, it was my first high school job and I learned a lot there. As well, family members have stayed at The Ronald McDonald House near Johns Hopkins Hospital when a newborn was undergoing major surgery. Given the new location, and being across from the Manchester Courthouse, this McDonald’s could serve many of the various populations of the burgeoning Manchester District.

    This and recent articles bring up one of my burning questions since moving to Manchester: why does the “entrance” to the area coming from Rt 95, the edge of the Courthouse along Commerce, look so raggedy and run down? At first I thought an answer might be a mural/street art, however, after reading about issues with public art back in 2009 in an article in Style Weekly, I thought that might be problematic.
    I can understand that perhaps the people who work at the Manchester Courthouse would like something more dignified. It seems that soon a public art medallion will be placed at the Courthouse:

    and I would hope that all folks involved might come together at such a gathering, and share ideas as to what could be done (with the funds available, and the many entities involved — for instance, is one VDOT?) to beautify this corner and to make it more accessible for families coming to the Courthouse to do business.

    As for the old site of the McDonald’s? Perhaps the folks at the bursting-at-the-seams Croaker’s Spot have an idea for a new dining concept in addition to Croaker’s, a place that could serve the people who work at the Courthouse as well as the other businesses in the neighborhood. Perhaps with conference rooms or event spaces on a second floor? Nothing too tall! (Speaking selfishly here!)