Why are chicken lovers crossing the road? Soon the answer in Prince Frederick will be the presence of an iconic fried chicken carryout.

Brixmor Property Group Inc., managers of Fox Run Limited Partnership, confirmed earlier this week Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen will be opening a new restaurant at a soon-to-be-constructed outparcel building at the 30-year-old shopping center on Route 2/4.

“We anticipate they will be open by the end of the year,” Brixmor spokesperson Kristen Moore told Southern Maryland News. “We have also signed Starbucks, Tropical Smoothie and Great Clips for a multi-tenant outparcel building. Other changes at the center include the opening of Planet Fitness and Five Below. Plus, we signed Ulta in an adjacent 10,000 square feet and an apparel retailer in 18,000 square feet.”

Planet Fitness and Five Below are part of the redevelopment of the shopping center’s original anchor store, Kmart, which closed in 2018.

Moore said the property group is “currently working on a tenant” for another planned pad site and the name of that business will be revealed once a lease is signed.

The expansion of Fox Run Shopping Center was an agenda item at last December’s meeting of the Calvert County Planning Commission.

During the site plan review it was revealed that 300 parking spaces would be removed from the shopping center’s 1,155 spaces to accommodate the pad sites. Once those buildings are constructed, 162 spaces will be added back.

The Prince Frederick Architectural Review Committee approved the Fox Run expansion plan last November. A new sign plan for the center also got the go-ahead.

Popeyes will be located almost directly across Route 2/4 from Chick-fil-A, which opened its Prince Frederick location in 2018. Last summer, the two national franchises engaged in a highly provocative competition over who had the better chicken sandwich.

The Prince Frederick Popeyes will be Calvert’s second location; the restaurant chain has a location in Dunkirk. There are several other Popeyes’ locations in the region, including Waldorf, La Plata, California and Lexington Park.

While Calvert County officials aren’t taking sides in the chicken war, there appears to be positive reaction about the relatively modest expansion of retail in the Prince Frederick Town Center.

“We’re excited about the continued interest from national retailers and restaurants, as well as the many small, locally owned businesses, that are encouraged by and confident in the positive trajectory of Calvert County’s economy,” Kelly Robertson-Slagle, Calvert’s economic development director, told Southern Maryland News. “We are fortunate that a variety of businesses from a wide range of industry sectors are investing in our community, which will translate into new jobs, increased tax revenue, and more shopping and dining options for our citizens.”

Twitter: @MartySoMdNews

Twitter: @MartySoMdNews