An additional dining option for Delaware residents may be coming to the city’s growing east side. During Wednesday’s meeting of the Delaware Planning Commission, the commission recommended approval of a combined preliminary and final development plan for prominent Chinese-American fast food restaurant Panda Express to construct a new location on the south side of U.S. Route 36/state Route 37.
The development comes just months after a City BBQ was approved at 1200 Sunbury Road in the shopping center in May. Estimations for the construction of the restaurant, which is currently underway, were for it to be completed by the end of this year.
Panda Express, which originally began solely as a food court in shopping malls, touts its food as a “combination of Chinese roots with an American taste,” according to its website. Thanks to its executive chef, Andy Kao, Panda Express is widely credited with the creation of the orange chicken dish, which has become a staple of Chinese-American cuisine.
The 1.02-acre proposed site is located just east of the Meijer gas station and is an out parcel of the Glennwood Commons shopping center. Delaware City Council approved a mixed-use commercial, office, and residential rezoning for 150 acres that included the shopping center in 2006, and the site has gone through various changes and development since that time.
In 2018, property west of Glenn Road and north of Mill Run Crossing was added to the overall development. Most recently, the southwest corner of Glenn Road and U.S. Route 36/state Route 37 was split into five commercial out lots earlier this year.
Proposed by Houston, Texas-based Heights Venture Architects is a 2,600-square-foot restaurant with one full-movement curb cut from the internal shopping center access road. A right-out-only curb cut along the entry drive to the shopping center would also be included, but no direct access for U.S. Route 36/state Route 37 would be available.
The restaurant would include a double drive-thru along the eastern and southern portion of the building large enough to stack 14 cars, funneling to a pickup window on the east side. While only 35 parking spaces are required by the city’s code, the proposal includes a total of 46 spaces in the lot.
Following the brief presentation, the proposal was unanimously recommended by the commission and will now go before Delaware City Council for final approval.