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Panda Express Chinese Food Coming to Village by End of the Year

The new fast food Chinese restaurant will take the place of the old Johnson Bank building on Washington Avenue in Mount Pleasant.

is a few steps closer to getting a new restaurant.

The Planning Commission on Wednesday gave preliminary approval to Panda Express, Chinese food done more as fast food, for the restaurant they want to build where Johnson Bank sits in front of Hobby Lobby on Highway 20.

There was a small sticking point when Justin Cassidy, a representative from HSB Architects, expressed some reservations over the use of spandrel glass on the back of the building. The material is attached to blank walls for the appearance of windows where there aren't any. Still, he doesn't really expect this small detail to delay the project.

"Panda is really excited to be in that location," he said."I know we'll get this worked out."

And it appears that the spandrel glass issue has been resolved. Mount Pleasant planning staff confirmed with Patch on Wednesday that Panda Express has not only agreed to add the glass to the back exterior, they've also expanded the landscaping plan beyond what the village was requiring.

While staff was asking for reduced setbacks for side and rear landscaping, HSB returned new elevations that show more green where there was concrete.

"The project sponsor has provided additional landscape elements (trees, shrubs, grasses) along the east and west elevations," said Deputy Planning Director Brennan Kane in an email. "The project sponsor has reduced the impervious surface even further with additional landscaping on the rear of the building where concrete was originally proposed."

The design approved, though, is not the one first presented earlier this year. In a far cry from the more traditional design the Planning Commission approved Wednesday.

Cassidy said the "Bright and Fresh" concept is debuting in select markets across the country, but not, unfortunately, in the Midwest just yet.

Building material samples must be submitted to the village and approved before a building permit will be issued.

Typical construction timelines are three months so the new Panda Express could be open by the end of the year if the company gets its building permit by the middle of September.

Jeff Frievalt September 01, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Can't believe not one person objected to a new business. Welcome to Racine Panda!!

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