Big plans for the development of the Dexter Crossing shopping center could be coming soon following the approval of the property owner's area plan on Monday.
The Dexter Village Council approved Oxford Development's request to amend its area plan of the 70,000 square foot property in a 6 to 1 vote.
According to information provided by the council, Oxford is planning to add a new 15,500 square foot single-story retail building and 30 additional parking spaces at the southeast corner of the shopping center near Dexter-Ann Arbor and Dan Hoey roads.
A portion of the existing parking lot and landscape islands will be reconfigured to accommodate the proposed building.
"We really put a lot of effort into our buildings because we know that everybody’s got to see them,” Jeff Hauptman, president of Oxford, told the council on Monday. “We’re putting our money where our mouth is and we’ve been putting money into Dexter Crossing.”
The company recently leased two spaces to Jet's Pizza and the Jewelry Box Boutique, he said.
Trustee Joe Semifero said he was concerned that the amended area plan includes a building with a window and car lane to accommodate drive-through service.
"To me that sounds like a fast food restaurant," Semifero said.
Hauptman said there are no plans to lease the space to a fast food restaurant such as a McDonald's or Taco Bell.
"I don't lease fast food restaurants in any of my properties," Hauptman said. "I don't eat the stuff, and my kids don't eat it, because its not good for you."
Hauptman said if the council does not want a fast food restaurant, he would like a clear definition of what constitutes "fast food" before marketing the property to potential clients.
"There are a number of users that have the potential to be interested in a drive thru — a pharmacy, or Java Jungle for example — and we want to keep the option open,” Hauptman said.
Despite reassurances from Oxford, Semifero said by approving the amendment, a future fast food restaurant could open on Dexter-Ann Arbor Road.
"A drive through is just that — you drive through it. It won't help the foot traffic for the other businesses at Dexter Crossing," he said. "Buildings change hands, and with the vote you take tonight, there is a distinct possibility going forward that we could have a fast food restaurant anchor Dexter Crossing."
Trustee Jim Carson disagreed, stating that by denying Oxford's request, it would limit the marketability of the property.
"Why would we limit the marketing of the property? I'm not willing to do that," Carson said. "I'll deal with the fast food issue when a proposal is brought before the Planning Commission."
Laura Kreps, assistant community development director for the village, said any future development of the property would have to get approval by the Planning Commission and the village council before moving forward.
The area plan was approved 6-1, with Semifero voting against the recommendation.