The Belleville City Council on Monday night approved St. Louis-based Panera’s request to open a St. Louis Bread Co. restaurant in the Belleville Crossing shopping center at Illinois 15 and Frank Scott Parkway.
Construction may begin in July and, depending upon weather, the new restaurant could be open by late November, said Brian Barnard, senior development project manager with Panera.
“We kind of see the future growth around Belleville Crossing coming and we just want to be a part of that,” Barnard said after the council voted. “We’ve been part of Belleville for a number of years and look to continue that relationship with the city.”
The St. Louis Bread Co. site is between Buffalo Wild Wings and Arby’s.
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We kind of see the future growth around Belleville Crossing coming and we just want to be a part of that. We’ve been part of Belleville for a number of years and look to continue that relationship with the city.
Brian Barnard of Panera
Aldermen OK’d the site plan, landscape plan and exterior design proposed by Panera for 5801 Belleville Crossing. They also approved a permit for outdoor dining.
The plans call for a 4,478-square-foot restaurant with a drive-through. Barnard said Panera wants to build more restaurants that have drive-through options because some customers want that convenience to order better food options compared to other drive-through choices.
Panera currently has a St. Louis Bread Co. restaurant at 113 E. Main St. in downtown Belleville. When asked if this site will remain open, Barnard said that operation is not handled by his department but he noted that Panera has a lease term availability at that location until 2027.
Barnard declined to release the estimated value of the building at Belleville Crossing. He said the restaurant may have 45 to 50 full- and part-time employees.
In other business
Belleville aldermen took this action Monday night:
▪ Set a public hearing date for the proposed special business district in the old Mad Pricer grocery store shopping center at 6401 W. Main St. The hearing will be at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 18.
If the business district plan is approved, the sales tax collected in the shopping center could be increased up to 1 percent and the money raised could be used for redeveloping the shopping center.
Sonoma Capital LLC was listed as the only developer who sent in a redevelopment proposal for the site but city officials did not release details of the company’s plan.
The redevelopment costs are estimated to be $4.5 million.
A consultant’s study said the center is “blighted” and can qualify to be in a special business district.
▪ Approved a motion from the Parks Board to research the process of establishing a “parks foundation” for the betterment and future development of the city’s park system.
▪ Promoted Police Lt. Matt Eiskant to captain and Officer Chris Mattingly to sergeant.
▪ Approved a new four-year contract for the city’s service workers union. The six members of this union will get 2 percent raises for the first three years of the contract and a 3 percent raise in the fourth year. The contract is retroactive to May 1, 2015.
The city has nine unions and the contract approved Monday night is for the eighth union to get a new contract in recent months. The sewer department employees are the only ones without a new contract.