Wendy’s is interested in a new Cookeville location at the Old Kentucky Commons Shopping Center, off 10th Street.
The Cookeville Planning Department has accepted a request to study changes to the original Planned Commercial Development overview for the shopping center, and specifically, for the Wendy’s site. That plan was developed by the city and was approved by the City Council prior to the construction of Food City, the first tenant.
Among the changes, developer BSM Cookeville wants the city to allow building elevations to be approved by the planning department.
“We have architectural design requirements, there are materials that are approved and what was submitted initially, we had architecturals, we had building elevations submitted for the anchor tenant, which is Food City right,” Community Development Director Jon Ward said. “But the elevations were essentially submitted as generic elevations until the tenants were determined.”
In addition to brick, siding or stone, Ward said building elevations also show how the structure would look from the street. Ward said the developer believes the change in process could assist in getting timely approval from large national chains.
“Approval at the planning commission level for administrative approvals of elevations to try to lessen time delays and things like that, with potential major tenants locating in the development,” Ward said. “So they’ve asked for the commission to consider approval of the aesthetics and exterior materials of buildings for national and regional tenants in the development.”
For the Wendy’s project, the developer said they want the store to be similar in look to the style being used across the chain. The drawings submitted by the developer resemble the changes made recently to the Willow Avenue location.
The chain also requested the city allow a bigger sign than outlined in the original plans for the shopping center. The developer said the signage is needed to compete with the Algood fast food restaurants located across Highway 111.
The changes also include subdividing the lot to be used for the restaurant. That would allow Wendy’s to just lease the space needed for the restaurant.
The developer has asked for other changes to the approved plans for shopping center. The developer wants to expand the uses for lots two and five of the development to match those of lots one, three and four. The developer originally planned to use those lots for more office space uses, but noted the lack of demand right now.
“This adjustment could enable us to attract tenants such as casual dining restaurants, retail outlets operating regular business hours, and other service-oriented businesses.” Developer Wayne Cravens said in a letter to the planning department.
Cravens said the expansion of 10th Street to five lanes in the area should allow for more commercial and retail uses than originally approved by the Planning Commission and the City Council.
The planning department will study the changes and make recommendations to the Planning Commission for its September meeting. Ward said a public hearing and City Council will be required to amend the Planned Commercial Development guidelines.
The Old Kentucky Commons Center is the first such planned commercial development in the city’s history.