In-N-Out Burger remains all in on Colorado Springs.
The wildly popular California-based burger chain, which announced a year ago it would expand to Colorado and make Colorado Springs its regional headquarters, plans to build a nearly 100,000-square-foot distribution center and a 150,000-square-foot office building on the city’s north side, according to recently submitted documents to city planners.
The distribution center and offices — to be built on nearly 22 acres in the 153-acre Victory Ridge mixed-use project southeast of InterQuest and Voyager parkways — were part of last year’s expansion announcement by In-N-Out and Victory Ridge’s suburban Denver developer.
But the new documents submitted to the city, along with recent comments via email from an In-N-Out official, provide new details about the size of the facilities, the chain’s plans and its commitment to Colorado Springs — which includes opening its first Colorado restaurant in two years at Victory Ridge.
According to the latest information:
• Construction of a distribution center and patty production plant would begin in the spring, with completion in summer 2020 — an “approximate schedule” as described in the documents submitted to the city. The facilities would be built southwest of InterQuest Parkway and Federal Drive in Victory Ridge.
• In-N-Out’s first restaurant, which previous documents showed would be built immediately southeast of InterQuest and Voyager, is targeted for a “late 2020” opening, said Carl Arena, the restaurant chain’s vice president of real estate and development. The 4,772-square-foot restaurant would have a single-lane drive-thru, documents show.
“All of our focus at this time is on the plans for two initial projects in Colorado Springs: a distribution center and hamburger patty production facility that has to be open and operating prior to the first store opening in Colorado, and an office building to follow,” Arena said.
“It is great to be able to report progress being made, although we are still likely two years away or so from serving our first double-double in Colorado,” he added. “We are very much looking forward to that day, and we appreciate our customers in Colorado that have shared their anticipation with us as well.”
• In-N-Out hasn’t yet purchased its property in Victory Ridge, which is home to the 14-screen Icon movie theater complex and where stores, restaurants, apartments and a sports complex are envisioned by developer Westside Investment Partners. In-N-Out and Westside are working to complete the land sale, said Otis Moore, a Westside principal. The deal should be completed before the end of the first quarter in 2019, Moore said.
“We’re looking forward to them being a land owner out there at Victory Ridge,” Moore said.
• Some news outlets reported last year that the Colorado Springs distribution center could serve 50 restaurants, but Arena said he can’t say yet how many locations In-N-Out will have in Colorado.
“While we continue to develop our plans for our first store locations in Colorado, it would be premature to speculate on the total number of restaurants that will eventually operate there,” he said. “We do know that growth will be deliberate and controlled; that has always been part of our strategy here at In-N-Out Burger.”
• The distribution and patty production facilities would be set back from the street, while landscaping would shield the development.
• The office building is planned as part of a second phase of In-N-Out’s development at Victory Ridge. No timetable for construction of the building was provided in documents submitted to the city. A helicopter landing pad and employee parking also are shown in the documents.
In-N-Out announced its expansion to Colorado in November 2017 after years of clamoring by state residents. The chain, founded 70 years ago in Southern California and with more than 300 restaurants, has developed a cultlike following for its burgers, fries and shakes. Colorado will join California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Texas as home to In-N-Out.