Two national restaurant chains are expected to open locations on Columbus’ west side late this year.

McAlister’s Deli and Panda Express will be located in separate, but neighboring units on the south side of Jonathan Moore Pike, between Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers and Buffalo Wild Wings, Indianapolis developer Aaron Boyle said.

Boyle’s firm, Midland Atlantic Properties, finalized the purchase March 19 of the 2.16-acre lot from Menard’s, which developed the retail area near its Columbus home improvement center.

One of the few remaining open lots on Jonathan Moore Pike, the purchase price was $1,506,784 — almost $700,000 an acre, Boyle said.

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Several factors — including nearby Interstate 65, neighboring retail giants such as Walmart and an anticipated new hospital facility — make the location attractive, Boyle said.

He also cited nice west side residential areas and quick access to downtown Columbus as positives for the location.

With more than 400 locations, including one in Greenwood, McAlister’s Deli offers deli sandwiches, “Texas-size” spuds, soups, salads and desserts, according to the restaurant’s website.

Founded in 1989 in Oxford, Mississippi, McAlister’s also sells catering items such as sandwich trays and boxed lunches, the website stated.

With more than 2,000 locations, Panda Express is considered the largest Asian segment restaurant chain in the United States.

Founded in 1983, the California-based restaurant chain offers American Chinese cuisine ranging from Orange Chicken and Eight Treasure Chicken Breast to Kung Pao Chicken and Grilled Teriyaki Chicken.

Construction of McAlister’s is underway, and the building should be completed by July, Boyle said.

However, a separate developer will be handling construction of Panda Express, he said.

Both eateries hope to be serving customers by the end of the year, Boyle said.

About 20 years ago, Boyle’s firm developed the neighboring shopping complex where both Buffalo Wild Wings and Verizon have locations, he said.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.