WAXAHACHIE — Residents and visitors to Waxahachie will soon have another dining option to choose after city council members approved Panera Bread’s requests for a replat land, specific use permit for a drive-thru and sign at its Monday night meeting.

The new restaurant is to be built in a portion of the Target parking lot in the 1300 block of U.S. Highway 77.

“We are truly excited to have Panera Bread. It is another complement to our retail grouping in the city. A number of people have requested that Panera Bread be part of our restaurant group and thank goodness that is going to take place now,” Economic Development Director Doug Barnes said. “Construction on the facility itself should take place in the next 30 to 45 days. Hopefuly they will be open by the spring of next year.”

Barnes continued stating Panera had originally planned to build on a portion of Home Depot parking lot but there were concerns about the location. Some of those concerns included traffic and the number of parking spaces.

“It was worked out to where Panera Bread will be located right next to Olive Garden in front of Target. There is plenty of space right there," Barnes stated. "We are pleased that Panera Bread will be coming to our community.”

According to the Panera Bread website as of Sept. 27, 2016, it has 2,024 bakery-cafes in 46 states, Washington DC and Ontario, Canada. On its menu, it offers customers a wide selection of freshly baked breads, pastries, bagels, soups, salads, pasta and sandwiches.

The restaurant that will be built-in Waxahachie is 4,300 square feet in size and will also feature a drive-thru.

Project Developer and Owner of Waxahachie Towne Center James Provost said the restaurant should be a big draw.

“We expect this development to bring more people in from around the community and to provide a dining experience that doesn’t currently exist in Waxahachie,” Provost explained. “We have had a lot of support and a lot of people have said they want Panera Bread here.”

Earlier in the meeting the city council held two public hearings on a request made by Arbors Development on the voluntary annexation of 292 acres. Arbors Development, who previously developed the Settlers Glenn subdivision, is looking to build a new residential development. The development will be located on Marshall Road near Farm-to-Market Road 664.

Arbors Development Representative Tony Sanders said previously that the subdivision is going to be composed of one to two-acre tracts of land along with some smaller lots. The number of lots has not been determined at this time.

No residents came forward to address the council about the proposed annexation during each of the public hearings.

City Manager Paul Stevens stated that the request would proceed forward to be considered for adoption by the council in September. The date that the annexation request will be presented to the council has not been determined at this time.

In other business the council,

• Heard a report from Downtown Development Director Anita Brown on the Downtown Waxahachie Farmer’s Market season. In the first 14 weeks of the season, vendors have reported $79,850.72 in sales. The market season will run through October.

• Approved a request to close College Street from Main to Franklin from 8 a.m. – 11 p.m. on Nov. 4 for the Farm to Table Dinner on the Square.

• Approved to deny two requests without prejudice made by Helen Reed with Helen’s House for a zoning change from general retail to a single family-two zoning for a building located at 320 Lynn St. and for a childcare facility in a residence.

• Approved a request for a specific use permit made by Yongfei Lin of Waxahachie Foot Spa to allow a full-body massage establishment located at 401 N. U.S. Highway 77.

• Approved a request by Michael Tull for a specific use permit to allow an accessoary building greater or equal to 700 square feet to be located at 136 Mustang Creek Dr.

• Approved to amend the city code of ordinances and adopted a wireless services design manual.

• Named Global High School graduate Jenna Nguyen as the honorary council member for August.

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