PHOTO: The location of the proposed Mexican restaurant. / Photo courtesy of the city of Spring Hill
By ALEXANDER WILLIS
Spring Hill may see its options for Mexican food grow in the coming months after Gresham Smith & Partners presented a site concept plan for a new Mexican restaurant to the city’s Planning Commission Monday night.
Proposed to be built in the Crossings shopping district off of Main Street, in between the Cracker Barrel and Panera Bread, the 7,200 square-foot building would house an AT&T store facing Main Street, an unnamed Mexican restaurant on the opposite side, and an as of yet undisclosed additional retail space in between the two.
The Mexican restaurant itself, which the developer has requested not to be named, will feature an outdoor eating area, 3,200 square feet of interior space, and a drive-through for orders on the go. The restaurant currently has dozens of locations across the United States and Canada, though mostly around the western portion of the continent. This Spring Hill location, pending its approval, would be the restaurant’s first location in Tennessee.
Alderman Matt Fitterer raised several concerns with the project’s design, however, particularly with the building’s orientation. The concept plan shows the retail and restaurant building, which is shaped like a rectangle, placed perpendicular to Main Street, with its front not facing the thoroughfare. Fitterer said this type of orientation does not meet the intent of the city’s Unified Development Code (UDC) – a sort of design document for the city – and called the building’s orientation the developer’s “biggest challenge.”
“The majority of the building is still facing away from Main Street, and that really goes against the intent of the UDC,” Fitterer said. “I think you’ve got a couple of challenges there.”
Since this was a non-voting meeting, the Planning Commission did not cast any votes on the project. Given the commission’s concerns, Gresham Smith & Partners will likely submit a revised concept plan to the city in the near future.
The next meeting of the Planning Commission will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 11, at City Hall, 199 Town Center Parkway.