Diners looking for a quick bite to eat at noontime may soon have another option.
The Los Alamos County Planning and Zoning Commission will consider approving the site plan, at its May 22 meeting, for a Wendy’s fast food restaurant in the former McDonald’s location at 1247 Trinity Dr.
Los Alamos County Principal Planner Ryan Foster said during an interview Tuesday that the developers plan to demolish the building and construct a new restaurant. The restaurant would feature a drive-through and a good deal of landscaping, he said. In fact, the developers plan to exceed the minimum requirement of 5 percent landscape coverage with 15 percent, Foster said.
County staff does expect to recommend that the Planning and Zoning Commission approve the site plan. Foster said if the plan is approved then the next step would be to apply for building permits.
The recommendation for P&Z to approve the site plan is due to the similarities between the new business and the previous one in that location, said Community Development Department Director Paul Andrus, during the Tuesday meeting. Plus, the developers are complying with the County’s site plan standards, as well as the downtown design standards.
Andrus said the developer hopes to move quickly on the construction. He pointed out that they have a standard site template and “they can mobilize quickly and that’s in their best interest because they want to be in this market.”
Andrus said removing the building from the list of vacant buildings in town was done solely through private sale channels, Andrus said.
Having a Wendy’s in town means another dining option; Andrus pointed out that the new construction will help to continue to improve the downtown’s aesthetics. He explained the building will share a similar appearance to the Smith’s Marketplace and O’Reilly’s Auto Parts, meaning it will utilize stone, steel and glass. Plus, the extensive landscaping.
“We’re trying to ensure as properties get developed on Trinity … that they’re beautifying the frontage along Trinity,” he said. “These developments will help make Trinity more attractive.”
Besides improving Trinity’s looks, the new fast food restaurant will help provide for the local lunchtime rush.
“It’s another choice,” Andrus said. “it will bring people into the downtown.” The appearance of a new business shows that overall “the economy itself is becoming vibrant,” he said.
Foster added, “To have a vacant building and to have it replaced with a brand-new restaurant … that really helps with the downtown community activity overall.”
Andrus said getting this new business is a good sign … “We are seeing new development picking up and we’re excited about it.”