Historic McDonald’s could be rebuilt


By Lucas Irizarry, Staff Reporter

The Crestwood McDonald’s could be getting a makeover after the Crestwood Planning and Zoning Commission recommended  approval of a plan July 7 for the fast-food restaurant to demolish and rebuild its current location at 9915 Watson Road, where it has been operating for more than 60 years.

The Board of Aldermen was set to hold a public hearing on the conditional use permit at its meeting July 27– after The Call went to press.

The Crestwood McDonald’s is historic, since it was the first west of the Mississippi River, located on Route 66.

Changes in the plan include better walkways to the restaurant, a bypass lane in front of the building to reduce traffic and movement of the drive-thru order stations so drivers will face south toward Watson Road. A new solid 8-foot fence, as opposed to the chain-link fence already in place, and a row of evergreen trees are in the plan to block light and noise from reaching the neighboring residential area. The commission added the condition that those trees must be at least 6-feet tall.

“The plan says 2-gallon size, which is pretty small,” Commissioner Jordan Wilkinson said. “That would be my only sticking point is that those trees … should be quite a bit larger than a 2-gallon stock.”

City Planner John Cruz stated in his written report “the look and feel of the chosen aesthetics is a modern design and is likely to complement future development along Watson Road.”

The building as a whole is increasing in square footage from 3300 to 5500 feet, which will limit parking slightly. The plan calls for 65 parking spaces, six less than the usual minimum, to add space for the new bypass lane.

Jeff Brocco, the architect representing McDonald’s on this project, said 70 to 80 percent of customers at McDonald’s use the drive-thru, and his research indicates they only need 51 parking spots. In addition, the new bypass lane’s purpose is customer safety.

“McDonald’s history teaches us that it’s actually better for folks versus having them exit,” Brocco said. “If there’s something wrong with (the customer’s) order, they can make those movements on site rather than exiting onto Watson and coming back in.”

Several members of the commission were happy with the new plan, including Commissioner Brandon Eversgerd, who was especially pleased with the new ordering station spot.

“Not that I go to McDonald’s very often, but it always seems everyone queues up way in the back of the line and it looks like it got bumped up,” he said. “I think that’s a good change that should help eliminate any potential clogs.”