Panda Express looking at Springfield as possible location for new restaurant

Idea is to tear down former Portrait Innovations and build stand-alone restaurant on North Bechtle Avenue.

Panda Express is looking to build a stand-alone restaurant that will replace a vacant building on North Bechtle Avenue.

The idea is to tear down a building that served as the past location for Portrait Innovations and build a Panda Express location that will offer drive-thru services.

However, it has not been indicated when construction would start on that project, according to Stephen Thompson, the community development deputy director for Springfield.

Thompson said that the city has been in talks with Klover Architects, which is working on behalf of Panda Express, since November and they had expressed interest in the property.

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Thompson said the city has been told by representatives of Klover that the plan is to build a new Panda Express location on the stretch of property located near the Kohl’s on North Bechtle.

Thompson said that a site plan was approved by Springfield commissioners and zoning was approved for the 0.39 acres along North Bechtle to allow for the construction of the new restaurant.

He said that there has not been any indication that the property has been transferred or obtained new ownership. The parcel of land does not have an address.

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However, Thompson said if the new Panda Express location is built, he assumes it will be listed as 1602 N. Bechtle Ave. He said that would be assigned if the company applies for building permits.

Xavier Gavine, who is with Klover and has been in contact with the city, declined to comment on the potential new Panda Express location or divulge information regarding the firm’s clients.