Decatur is getting a third Taco Bell and another Chinese restaurant.
The Planning Commission approved site plans Tuesday for a Taco Bell in the new Point Mallard Centre and a Panda Express in the Beltline Plaza.
The commission also voted to recommend that the City Council close Ferry and Line streets’ southern entrance to Alabama 20/Wilson Street Northeast after no one spoke at a public hearing on the recommendation.
The 2,720-square-foot Taco Bell is the second announced business in the new Point Mallard Centre, joining the Publix grocery store, at the corner of Point Mallard Parkway and Indian Hills Road Southeast.
Chuck McGee, vice president of retail development for Teramore Development LLC, of Augusta, Georgia, said the Taco Bell will be located along the parkway near the western entrance.
McGee said construction of the main shopping center is on schedule for completion in early 2018.
As part of an agreement with the developer, the city is spending more than $800,000 to realign the Indian Hill Road-Point Mallard Parkway intersection.
The Planning Commission approved a 2,200-square-foot Panda Express for construction in a Beltline Plaza outparcel south of Krispy Kreme along Beltline Road Southwest.
Wally Terry, city director of development, said the California-based Panda Express has been looking for a location in Decatur for four or five years.
“I think they tried to get three other locations,” Terry said.
During the Planning Commission’s work session, Councilman Chuck Ard asked if there’s a suggested funding source to go along with the recommendation to build cul-de-sacs on Line and Ferry streets’ southern entrances to Alabama 20-Wilson Street.
City Planner Karen Smith said the recommendation is that the City Council find a funding source to block off these roads because motorists are making too many dangerous left turns onto the six-lane highway.
Smith said residents of the two streets also asked for the cul-de-sacs to reduce the amount of traffic.
City Engineer Carl Prewitt estimated at a previous meeting that building cul-de-sacs on Line and Ferry streets would cost about $30,000 each. He said at the time he hasn’t done the engineering design to give a specific cost estimate.
Ard said it’s good to get the project before the City Council, but the construction of the cul-de-sacs likely won’t occur in 2018.
Terry said Church Street Northeast has been dealing with an increase in traffic since the completion of the widening of Alabama 20-Wilson Street.
“We’re looking at some calming measures — not roundabouts — for Church Street because they’ve had more than their share of traffic lately,” Terry said.