A popular chain of Chinese food restaurants is coming to Hartland Township. An engineer and architects for Panda Express were before the Hartland Township Planning Commission for site plan review, Thursday night. The 2300 square foot building will be located east of US-23, on M-59, in front of the new Emagine Theater. It will have a connection to the Taco Bell and a future development.

Township Planner Troy Langer said that with Panda Express’s request for a drive-thru window came the need for an amendment to the Planned Development its parcel sits on. The PD only allows for 2 drive-thru windows, and 7 drive-thru businesses. Panda Express would be the 3rd, and 8th, respectively.

The main material of the building will be brick, with grey, beige, and brown colors to match township requirements. A portion of the top of the building will be made of a composite wood plank that is built to be durable, along with aluminum canopies around the structure. The board was pleased with most of the site plan, but had some requirements they weren’t willing to budge on with landscaping. Ownership prefers the use of riverstone around their buildings, but the Planning Commission wanted to see more green and living materials. They also wanted to make sure that screening was used to hide an exposed transformer on the site.

The Planning Commission approved the site plan with conditions, and recommended approval of the drive-thru amendment to the Township Board. Construction on the building is expected to begin in spring, with Panda Express opening in late summer or early fall. (MK)