New Tim Horton's restaurant expected to arrive on Washtenaw Avenue in Ann Arbor
The East Ann Arbor Shell gas station at 3240 Washtenaw Ave. is slated to be demolished.
Rising in its place will be a new gas station convenience store and drive-thru restaurant nearly twice its size, city officials say.
Whether that space is filled by a new Tim Horton's restaurant remains to be seen, but that's what the city's planning department expects and what the Ann Arbor City Council approved Monday night.
The council voted 11-0 in favor of a "Resolution to Approve Tim Horton’s Site Plan." City Planner Chris Cheng wrote in a report to the City Council that the new restaurant is expected to rise on the south side of Washtenaw Avenue just west of Huron Parkway in Ann Arbor.
The approved site plan allows for construction of a 1-story, 4,507-square-foot gas station convenience store and drive-thru restaurant. The parking lot and gas pumps are being reconfigured to accommodate 18 parking spaces and 5 pump stations, according to the city.
AnnArbor.com was unable to reach a spokesperson for Tim Horton's or Safeway Oil, owner of the property, for comment.
Shell station owner Dianne Gonzalez, who rents the property from Safeway, said today the project will break ground in the spring and should last about 3 months. She said it will include a brand-new gas station and two tenants, though no tenants have been signed yet.
"I don't even know if Tim Horton's is still interested," she said.
Cheng said the city was led to believe from the petitioner that a Tim Horton's was on the way, but any type of restaurant would be allowed under the C-3 commercial zoning on the property.
"Whether they want to get another client in there, whether it's a Subway shop, that's up to them," he said. "They've got the building approved and I assume it's going to be a Tim Horton's ... but I suppose they could find another franchise."
Back in January, the Planning Commission raised concerns about the site plan. The developer has responded by agreeing to move a proposed 8-foot wide sidewalk along Washtenaw 14 feet south to keep pedestrian traffic away from the street.
The developer also plans to add a sidewalk at the corner of Washtenaw and Huron Parkway to enter the site, while providing additional landscaping and a berm between the sidewalk and Washtenaw. The developer also will modify the entrance drive from Washtenaw to only allow for right turns in and out of the site.
"I think it's pedestrian friendly," Cheng said. "They've got walks and a walkway that's connecting to it. Thats a nice quality."
The City Council approved the site plan subject to the petitioner's payment of a street tree escrow of $632 prior to issuing building permits and subject to disconnecting a footing drain before issuing certificates of occupancy.
Ryan J. Stanton covers government for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-623-2529.