Plaza construction to expand parking lot

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

ST. JOSEPH – Customers who frequent the St. Joseph Township Plaza near Interstate 94 will see more construction in its parking lot.

The plaza at 3260 Niles Road, which is home to such eateries as Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Panera Bread, will expand its parking lot.

Brian Cronkrite, vice president of marketing for Trigo Hospitality, said construction started last week and will be completed in June.

“We are just paving that blank area and adding to the parking lot,” Cronkrite said in reference to the property nearest to the plaza’s east side entrance. “There is a demand from the restaurants within the center for more parking.”

The parking lot now has 159 spaces. Construction would add 44 spaces, bringing the lot’s total to 203. The project cost was not disclosed.

Cronkrite said the land being paved has been a patch of dirt since Trigo began work on the plaza.

The property was originally set aside for future expansions or incoming businesses.

“It was a potential spot for an addition to the building,” Cronkrite said, “but with the tenants that we already have there, it would be more beneficial for parking at this point.”

Greg Collins, director of operations for Panera Bread, said there became a need for more parking when Five Guys moved in next door in January.

“I’m glad they’re doing this,” Collins said. “I don’t expect this to interrupt business at all.”

Trigo Hospitality is the same company that received approval from the Benton Township Board of Trustees last week to build a Sonic Restaurant at the former Maxton Motors property at 2680 M-139, near I-94.

Cronkrite told the board the Sonic Restaurant could be open as early as September.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@thehp.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on May 27, 2015)

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