Property on Rochester Road will be flipped for pancakes

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published January 2, 2018

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TROY — Plans for an International House of Pancakes restaurant on 2 acres at Rochester Road and Urbancrest Drive panned out after the Troy City Council unanimously approved a conditional rezoning Dec. 18. 

The Planning Commission voted 6-1 Nov. 14 to recommend approval of a conditional rezoning request from residential to general business to allow parking for the IHOP restaurant. The developer also asked for and was granted a special use of the property on the east side of Rochester Road, north of Big Beaver Road, to allow a drive-thru window at a Panda Express restaurant.

The Planning Commission approves requests for special uses and makes recommendations on conditional rezoning requests to the City Council, which approves or denies them. The conditional rezoning included a request for a deviation on parking. City guidelines call for 155 parking spots for the site, and the development features 120 spaces. 

Planning Commissioner Michael Hutson opposed the request, saying the parking study was not adequate since it ended at 1 p.m. 

“OHM (the city’s parking consultant) made a finding there is sufficient parking,” Troy City Planning Director R. Brent Savidant said to the council. 

Mayor Dane Slater said that if someone shows up and all of the spaces are taken, they would “just leave. It would be detrimental to the business. There’s no place to park off-site without significant walking.” 

The plans call for the repurposing of a building on the north end of the site into a 5,500-square-foot IHOP restaurant and the demolition of a building on the south end of the site — a Mr. Pita restaurant, now closed — to make way for a new Panda Express restaurant and 4,000 square feet of retail space. 

John Baker, representing the developer, said they are experienced in redeveloping “properties like this.” 

Baker described Rochester Road as a “premier corridor” that they believe has been underdeveloped for 30 years. Baker noted that they looked at the Big Beaver architecture for inspiration for the design.

“We’re building a quality project … with materials that won’t weather.” 

He said they don’t yet have tenants for the 4,000 square feet of retail, but that tenants will likely include real estate or dental offices. 

“We appreciate you bringing this to our community,” Slater said. “It will be a boost; a great asset to our community.”