Panera Bread inching closer to Town location

After going to back the drawing board with design plans for its proposed Farragut location, Panera Bread’s architectural team received encouraging feedback on its latest preliminary concept plan during a Farragut Staff/Planner meeting Tuesday, Aug. 30.

The restaurant’s proposed location is between Truist Bank and Campbell Station Inn, in front of Village Green shopping center along Kingston Pike.

“I think you’re heading in the right direction,” Farragut Community Development director Mark Shipley said. “It’s a lot more compatible.”

“You guys are on the right track,” added Vice Mayor Louise Povlin, who also sits on Farragut Municipal Planning Commission.

While there were three FMPC members present, Shipley advised Panera to take the plan to the full Commission.

“It would be good to get the feedback,” he added.

When Panera Bread representatives attended the Staff/Developer meeting last month, they were asked to reconsider their plans for Panera’s signage, colors and building elevations.

Shipley said the building must at least have the appearance of a two-story structure. He also asked them to consider a pitched roof.

The original concept was “a nice looking building, nothing wrong with that,” but the style was more along the lines of something found in Turkey Creek, Shipley said.

“We did have some feedback, just because of the context, to try to come up with something that maybe was a little bit more in line with the surroundings — the bank and the Campbell Station Inn — to look at roof pitch, maybe more transparency (windows), the colors, signage, lighting,” he added.

The building will have a drive-through, but Shipley said, “To me, they’ve done a great job with making it as discrete as possible.”

When Town engineer Darryl Smith questioned the detention pond being moved from the front to the back in the first and current plans, R2R Studio architect Katherine Kittrel said the pond’s location had not yet been determined.

Shipley pointed out Panera Bread will have a pedestrian connection and suggested it may want to have another one further back.

The pedestrian connection near the front “is pretty close to the turn-in at Kingston Pike,” he said. “I envision there will be a lot of foot traffic between (Panera Bread and Campbell Station Inn).”

“Could you do a raised crosswalk?” Povlin asked.

“You don’t want it to be a launch point,” Mayor Ron Williams warned.

“I don’t want someone coming in a little hot — airborn,” Smith added.

“It’s something to think about,” Shipley said. “There’s going to be a lot of pedestrian traffic. We want them to come over and support Panera. I think it will be a good, complementary use for the pocket park at the Inn. We have a lot of events in this area throughout the year.”

Shipley also pointed out the new elevations.

“I think they definitely tried to address the initial comments,” he said. However, Shipley did suggest Panera’s representatives break up the large bricked sections on the sides of the building.

But “to me, these elevations look pretty good,” he added.

Other business

In other business, the staff discussed two proposed townhome developments — a Phase 1 site plan for Kingston Pike Villages, 13106-13140 Kingston Pike next to Cool Sports Home of the Icearium, and a concept plan for 30 townhomes and a roughly 25,000-square-foot commercial building on a 9.2-acre property at 421 N. Watt Road near Jones Automotive. The latter property is zoned Neighborhood Convenience Commercial.

Dog parks are proposed for both developments.