In-N-Out Burger plans to open a location in Grants Pass, Ore. The first In-N-Out in Oregon opened in Medford in September.

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GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Eat your heart out, Portland — and practically every other municipality north of California on the I-5 corridor.

In-N-Out Burger is coming to Grants Pass.

Soon. Probably.

Rumored for months to be eyeing a location in Grants Pass, the wildly popular California fast-food chain known for its simple but juicy burgers and fries now officially owns the property to do it.

And it’s exactly where everyone thought it was going to be, a former Shell gas station near Interstate 5 on the north end of town.

The company has an appeal before the City Council on Dec. 16 to keep the supports and brackets for the former Shell sign that was supposed to be removed within 90 days of when the property was razed.

But exactly when you’ll be able to order a Double-Double and Animal Style fries is anyone’s guess.

The first (and currently only) In-N-Out in Oregon was opened in September in Medford, 30 miles southeast of Grants Pass. It drew a crush of customers, and at that time In-N-Out said it was interested in opening others in Oregon.

By then, rumors had been swirling for months, even before a teenage prankster swiped a “Coming Soon” sign from the new In-N-Out location in Medford and hung it at a shuttered Carl’s Jr. a few blocks from the old Shell station.

In a statement to the Daily Courier, Carl Van Fleet, In-N-Out’s vice president of planning and development, confirmed the acquisition of the Shell site and said the company is “enthusiastic” about opening a restaurant in Grants Pass.

“That said, we are still in the very early stages of the development process so it’s not yet possible to even speculate on timing.

“For a typical restaurant, once we begin construction it usually takes us about five months to open. At this point, we can’t yet project when we might be able to begin construction.”

The first In-N-Out opened in 1948 in a Los Angeles suburb, and the chain has grown to more than 300 locations on the West Coast and in Texas.

In-N-Out remains privately held by the Snyder family, refuses to franchise and ties its growth strategy to a requirement that all new locations must be within one day’s drive from company processing plants to ensure fresh ingredients.

The plant serving the new In-N-Out location in Medford is 350 miles away in Lathrop, Calif. Grants Pass is another 30 miles away.

Lora Glover, director of parks and community development for the city, said In-N-Out is appealing the sign code because the code has changed since the sign was originally built years ago.

“In-N-Out is asking to be able to retain the sign for three years,” Glover said.

The existing sign is 89 feet tall with 160 square feet of sign space. Today the maximum height allowed is 20 feet with no more than 100 square feet of sign space.