Construction of a new Panda Express restaurant in Hartland Township can now proceed, as officials have made changes to allow for a third establishment with drive-thru services.

Panda Express is to be located near the Taco Bell restaurant within the Hartland Towne Square Planned Development, located north of M-59 and west of Clark Road. The original agreement for the Planned Development stated that drive-through service is permitted for up to seven establishments within the development. Of those seven, only two restaurant-style establishments are allowed to provide drive-thru service. Taco Bell and Culver’s currently occupy those two allowances.

On Tuesday, developers came before the township’s Board of Trustees, seeking approval to amend the PD agreement to construct Panda Express with one drive-thru window and an amendment to allow for a third drive-thru establishment. Trustees approved the request, but did however discuss a separate concern as there was a condition included that required the issue of land division within the development be discussed by officials and developers.

Plans for the development show that the Panda Express site is slightly smaller than what is indicated on the final plan. There is a presumption that the property owner will request a land division in order to sell the parcel to Norr Architects and Engineers and attach the remaining portion to another parcel.

Staff previously expressed concerns about how land division was handled in the past, mostly because Hartland Square Drive and Rovey Drive could be split off from other parcels and become their own parcel in the future. Officials say they are concerned because that means no entity would be responsible for maintaining those roads as they are private. There was no action taken on the issue of the potential land division as officials only wanted to bring attention to it in order to find a solution before further development occurs.

Construction on the building is expected to begin in spring, with Panda Express opening in late summer or early fall. (DK)