It’s been more than a year since it was announced that Sarasota developer Dr. Mark Kauffman wanted to bring a P.F. Chang’s China Bistro to the edge of downtown Sarasota.
But Wednesday, the Scottsdale, Ariz.,-based restaurant chain’s plans for a downtown Sarasota location took a big, bureaucratic step forward when the city’s Development Review Committee recommended the restaurant’s completed application be forwarded to the Planning Board for its review Dec. 14.
In November 2010, Kauffman’s land-use consultant, Joel Freedman, submitted a proposal to the city to develop the restaurant in place of an office building at the northwest corner of Osprey Avenue and U.S. 41.
The 4,164-square-foot structure, at 766 S. Osprey Ave., is used for executive suites.
The proposal calling for an approximately 7,000-square-foot restaurant requires the city to approve both the site plan and a property rezoning.
The application took longer than expected to process, in part, because of the company’s delays in resubmitting requested materials and working with nearby residents and business owners to make sure the future building, which will be designed by P.F. Chang’s in-house architectural team, would win neighborhood approval.
City planner Courtney Mendez said the Planning Board will review the application next month, before the Sarasota City Commission makes a decision on the restaurant. That action most likely will come in January.
“There’s been a lot of interest in this restaurant application,” Mendez said. “We’re pleased to say it’s now moving forward for review by the Planning Board and the City Commission.”
A call to P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Inc. was not returned Wednesday.
P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Inc. operates two restaurant chains: the full-service P.F. Chang’s China Bistro and the quick-casual Pei Wei Asian Diner.
The company already operates a Pei Wei on University Parkway just west of Interstate 75. The closest full-service P.F. Chang’s China Bistro restaurants are located in Fort Myers and Tampa.