Saco approves contract zone that would allow proposed Chipotle and Jersey Mike restaurants at former Pizza Hut location

Saco approves contract zone that would allow proposed Chipotle and Jersey Mike restaurants at former Pizza Hut location
A Chiptole bowl. Courtesy of Instagram
Liz Gotthelf, Publisher

SACO — The City Council has approved a contract zone needed to pave the way for a proposed Chipotle restaurant on Main Street.

Developer Alrig USA is proposing a 5,350 square foot multi-unit commercial building to be built on the site of a former Pizza Hut restaurant at 507 Main St. (Route One). Part of the proposal that has been laid out in public documents is that this is a proposed site of a Chipotle Mexican Grill.

Though there are other fast food restaurants nearby 507 Main St., recent amendments in the city’s zoning prevent new fast food restaurants from opening in that location, and the project needs a contract zone to allow for a restaurant like Chipotle to be allowed at the former Pizza Hut site.

The contract zone also allows the proposed building to have parking between the front of the building and the street, which is not permitted in current zoning, and also allows the drive-through lane to be less than five feet from the property line.


As part of the contract zone agreement, the city will be deeded land behind the building that will allow for the creation of a connector road between Smith Lane and Stockman Avenue.

City Councilor Phil Hatch cast the only vote opposing the contract zone at Monday night’s City Council meeting.

“I think just common sense would tell you that traffic issues are going to be far worse on this redeveloped site then they were when the Pizza Hut was there,” he said, noting that the project was putting three businesses on a property that previously had just one.

Councilor Nathan Johnston said he thought it was a good use of a contract zone because it would give the city a much-needed access road between Smith Land and Stockman Ave.


Councilor Jodi MacPhail said she didn’t think traffic from the proposed project at 507 Main St. would be an issue, as there was enough space in the parking lot to accommodate the flow of vehicles, and she thought there were bigger concerns with traffic from the nearby Dunkin’ and KFC restaurants.

Hatch said that the promise of Chipotle has been dangled out to the public, which he said effects people’s view of the proposal.

 “What if we let you do this, and we don’t get Chipotle,” he asked.

Attorney Jason Howe, representing Alrig USA, confirmed that Chipotle was indeed going to move into 507 Main St., should the contract zone be approved.

 “I’ve been authorized to share that there is a signed lease which is contingent upon us acquiring the real estate. Getting the contract zone is a condition of us closing on the real estate,” he said.

A spokesman for the national restaurant chain did not confirm the proposed Saco location.

It appears that Chipotle is not the only restaurant proposed at the former Pizza Hut site. According to the Jersey Mike’s Subs website, a sandwich shop is listed as “scheduled to open soon” at 507 Main St., Saco.

Publisher Liz Gotthelf can be reached at [email protected]