A portion of the site formerly occupied by Richardson Square Mall may soon see a resurgence of restaurants and retail.
City Council members heard plans June 3 for redevelopment of the 13.2-acre site. The effort would revamp the former Sears building that closed in April at the southeast corner of Belt Line and Plano Roads as well as construct four smaller buildings in the adjacent parking lot. The developer hopes to break ground within the next six months.
Richardson Square Mall was demolished over a decade ago. The 95-acre area is now an outdoor retail center called Richardson Square.
The four new buildings would range in size from 2,500-7,550 square feet and include a Jason’s Deli, Starbucks, Chipotle and several retail tenants. All three restaurants would include a drive thru, according to applicant Matt Moore with Claymoore Engineering.
It is not yet clear how the 135,702-square-foot former Sears building will be used; however, site owner Frank Mihalopoulos said he is exploring the possibility of filling it with specialty retailers.
The developer needed approval from council for a zoning change that would allow for drive-thru restaurants. Several council members and residents expressed reluctance over green lighting the project without definitive plans for the Sears building.
Residents of Berkner Park approve of the restaurant choices, according to neighborhood association President Gene Lawrence. Still, a more complete site plan is needed before his group can fully endorse the project.
“Approving the zoning change [without plans for the Sears building]is almost like signing a blank check,” Lawrence said.
In the end, council voted 5-1 to table the issue until July 22. Mayor Paul Voelker opposed.
“What I would like to see is some kind of plan … for this Sears building before we approve the other items,” Council Member Steve Mitchell said.