With its eye on an August 2013 completion date for construction, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Inc. plans to open the doors to its new downtown Sarasota location in time for the 2013 fall season.
Construction of the restaurant is estimated to begin within months, now that city commissioners, Monday, Sept. 17, approved a plan to vacate a portion of the road to make way for the restaurant’s parking.
Mark Kauffman, of Bayou Associates Ltd., purchased the property in June 2012 for $1.5 million and razed an office building on the property. The construction site is cleared, and a fence has been built around the perimeter.
P.F. Chang’s in-house architectural team designed the new restaurant, and with building plans complete, Kauffman intends to seek permitting for construction, a process that could take up to two months. The construction of the 6,900-square-foot, stand-alone building at the corner of U.S. 41 and Osprey Avenue is estimated to take eight months to complete, said Kauffman.
Kate Lowman, president of the Laurel Park Neighborhood Association, said Kauffman, the developer of the restaurant project, has addressed the neighbors’ major concerns.
One concern was that a five-story building might have been built on that site.
“They (the developer) committed to the lower height (of one story),” Lowman said.
Residents also had concerns about the appearance of the project’s border with the residential neighborhood of Laurel Park. But, according to Lowman, Kauffman showed residents the plans, including the landscape design, to alleviate those concerns.
“They have agreed to put in a good amount of vegetation there where it abuts the neighborhood,” Lowman said.
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. Community interest has been especially high for the restaurant because the closest P.F. Chang’s is more than an hour away north or south, in Tampa and Fort Myers. The company operates a Pei Wei on University Parkway just west of I-75.
Now that the main concerns have been addressed, residents in Laurel Park welcome the addition to their neighborhood.
“It will be another good restaurant for us to walk to,” Lowman said.