Concerns over entrance delay new Burger King
Plans for a new Burger King on East Michigan Avenue have been delayed by at least several months.
The Ypsilanti Township Planning Commission removed approval of the site plans from the agenda of its May 20 meeting.
Township Planning coordinator Joe Lawson said the new building was to be built by franchisee Bravokilo on a lot adjacent to a new Taco Bell at 1085 E. Michigan Ave. Bravokilo purchased the lot from Sundance, the company that owns the Taco Bell.
Because Michigan Avenue is a trunk line, the Michigan Department of Transportation must approve business’s curb cuts. When the lot was vacant, MDOT asked Sundance to fill in a curb cut with the verbal agreement that the cut could be reopened when the property was purchased, Lawson said.
But Bravokilo learned from MDOT on Monday that the curb cut - or entrance drive - for their drive thru was too close to the Taco Bell’s driveway, and the plans would have to be revisited. Lawson said curb cuts along a busy road like Michigan Avenue usually have to be at least 300 feet apart.
Tom Perkins | For AnnArbor.com
He said he doubted the site plans would be back on the Planning Commission's agenda for its June meeting.
Bravokilo will invest $1 million to build the 3,446-square foot building. The Indiana-based company owns around 120 Burger Kings nationwide, as well as a variety of casual dining restaurants like Chili’s and Papa Vino’s.
It owns a Burger King at 823 E. Michigan Ave. less than a half mile from the new site. Lawson said Bravokilo leases that building from the Burger King corporation, though it will own its new building.
Burger King typically tries to lease its vacated properties for up to a year and demolishes the buildings if they remain unoccupied, Lawson said, though he added that he hasn’t heard any definite plans from the corporation.
Staff was recommending that the planning commission approve the project. Ypsilanti Township has made the East Michigan Avenue corridor a focus for redevelopment, and Lawson said the new building is another sign of success.
“Even though it’s a new restaurant but just on a different parcel along Michigan Avenue, they’re staying within the corridor and township, and it’s my hope they’re seeing the benefit of what we’re doing there,” he said.
Township planning officials asked that the number of parking spaces be reduced by 10 to reduce the amount of impervious surface. A memo written by a planning official said the recently built Taco Bell next door has a larger parking lot that has proved unnecessary and created extra stormwater.
Bravokilo proposed building a new Burger King on the city of Ypsilanti’s Water Street property in 2010, but city council members rejected the proposal on the grounds that it wasn’t consistent with their development vision for the property adjacent to downtown.
Tom Perkins is a freelance reporter for AnnArbor.com Contact the news desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.