Another “king” is headed to Swansea.
A Burger King restaurant will be built in front of the existing Rural King at 2801 N. Illinois St.
Representatives from Burger King and village officials gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday morning.
Jason Amarosa, the managing partner for the restaurant, said the goal is to have the business open by Nov. 1, but it could be later than that. The project is valued at $2.4 million.
Amarosa said the restaurant will employ 25 to 35 people with up to 30 full-time positions.
Swansea Mayor Ken Mueller said tax breaks are not part of the development, but the site is in the village’s business district where shoppers pay an extra 1 percent sales tax. Mueller said funds from this district could be used to build a sidewalk in front of the shopping center where Burger King will be built but that decision has not yet been made.
“So we’re going to have the two ‘kings,’ what more could you ask for? We’re really, really happy Burger King is coming here,” Mueller said. “I think people will go to Rural King and then say, ‘Wait, we might as well get something to eat.’”
Amarosa said the idea to build a Burger King in Swansea first surfaced in 2011.
“We’re four years down the road, but we’re going to get it going,” he said.
Amarosa said his father has been a Burger King franchisee for 41 years but is not involved in this project.
“The only job I’ve ever had is with Burger King,” Amarosa said. He recalls making Whoppers while standing on a pickle bucket when he was about 5 years old.
“While people were going to summer camp, I was going to work with my old man,” he said. “So we’ve got plenty of experience.”
Swansea already has other national chain restaurants near the Burger King site, including McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Applebee’s and Jack in the Box.
Burger King restaurants in the area include one in the Green Mount Commons shopping center in Belleville off Carlyle Avenue and another one at 401 Lincoln Highway in Fairview Heights.