OKEMOS - After the closing of BD's Mongolian Grill earlier this year, Panera Bread is looking to relocate to the vacant building on West Grand River Avenue.
Meridian Township's Corridor Improvement Authority met on Wednesday, February 28th, to discuss the possibility of opening a drive-thru Panera Bread restaurant.
The restaurant would be located between Payless Shoe Store and Discount Tire, and across from Meijer
The primary concern discussed at the meeting was how much parking space would be available to panera customers, and how accessible the location would be, with discussion of a shared rear exit on okemos road being placed behind the neighboring businesses.
"My role and my opinion is to just find out if there is a creative solution to have everyone benefit from it. Whether this is feasible, cost-effective, or permitted is yet to be seen. I wanted first to figure out whether there was any interest in having it happen, and then we can see whether the dominoes fall from there," said Chris Buck, Meridian Township's Economic Development Director.
Some of the neighboring businesses are concerned that the new Panera location could cause parking overflow into their lots
Discussions are still in the early stages with no final decision yet. This is an on-going story and we will update you when we have more information.