Panera Bread won’t be opening a second location in Palm Coast, but that’s not the city’s fault, Palm Coast City Manager Jim Landon said Tuesday at a workshop for the Palm Coast City Council.
“That was a difficult project (that) had a lot of problems,” Landon said, referring to the construction of Panera Bread’s first location on State Road 100. “They had a very dysfunctional design team.”
Josh Jeppesen, a project manager for Schmid Construction, the company that headed the restaurant’s vertical construction, said building in Palm Coast was complicated and lengthy. Contractors and developers in the area have criticized the city, calling it unfriendly to businesses and growth.
But Landon said he believes the only reason the Panera Bread project ever finished was because the city made special allowances for the company. One of those allowances was allowing concurrent review of site plans for the restaurant in effort to expedite the permitting process — but Panera Bread submitted two different designs for review, Landon said.
So when construction began, problems arose because contractors were working from two plans. The problem, Landon said, was of faulty design.
Other issues that arose, Landon said, were that a contractor on site was caught doing work he was not licensed to do, among other complications.
The city will always ensure that building codes are upheld and proper permits are obtained for all work, Landon said, even if that’s considered “business unfriendly.” “Any time in the regulatory arena, there are going to be conflicts,” Landon said. “It’s the nature of the beast when you have a regulatory agency telling someone what they need to do.”
Still, Landon agreed that there are problems within the city’s development process that need to be addressed. His solution is the same as the one many critics of the city offer: improving communication between all parties involved on a project.
He also suggested bringing in an outside consultant that could assess the city’s developing processes independently and suggest areas for improvement.
“I think it’s time that we take a look at our whole process — not from a builder’s standpoint or from a developer’s standpoint, but from the private sector or business sector,” Landon said, ”so we can see if there’s something we can do better.”
— Search for “Order Canceled” on www.PalmCoastObserver.com to read the story from Saturday, Jan. 5.
Email Megan Hoye at [email protected]
Currently 4 Responses
- why are so many builders refusing to build here. It doesn't take a whole lot of thought to figure it out.
- First, I would like to say, the government is not here to hinder anything, but to facilitate the development of the community. The service they provide is customer service based. In any business that is successful; the customer is always right approach will lead to success.
I lost total respect for Jim Landon the night he met with the "L" section residents and citizens. When you enter a potential hostile situation and you make a joke out of our complaints, this renders you as a totally disrespectful for the people who pay your salary (which is large). To continue to hear stuff like this is not surprising, but is actually expected from the two dealings I have personally seen.
I live in this community, I like this community, what I don't like about this community is the City of Palm Coast and they way they treat business and residents. I hear first hands accounts of the way they handle business and I myself have dealt with the city over something that would be simple, yet turns complicated because of attitudes.
This is a business that creates jobs here in Palm Coast. This is a tax bearing business that will boost the economy. I would be extremely grateful they have considered our community for a second location! I would do everything possible to ensure this goes through; not changing the way I deal with every other business. Meaning, I would help every single business that would like to expand in this community and facilitate them, not impede in their processes!
Jim, you are arrogant, irresponsible, and reckless in your behavior. Your damaging this community! Your attitude and demeanor outside of your job is the same way. You and the City of Palm Coast City Council are not better than the average citizen!
Mayor Netts during the Christmas Parade showed his true colors! His staff and he attempted to move kids from the parade area to accommodate the "elected officials." Stuff like this makes the "elected officials" irrelevant to me and other citizens who watched this debacle occur. Also, Netts, you need to walk, your getting big. It will not hurt you to walk instead of using the fire department's golf cart to lug you around! You're not better than the citizens!
Do you see how this is attacking. This is how you treat us citizens. It is not polite. Treat others as you expect to be treated and good things will happen! I am appalled at you Mr. Landon for your inability to facilitate Panera Bread. Do you think they only have one location in Palm Coast, FL? No, they have tons of business across the United States! The funny thing is, do you hear on the news of any problems with how they set up business? Nope. When you point one finger, you go three pointing right back at you! I don't have to read any other articles to know you "screwed the pooch" on this. You owe them an apology and get this fixed. This is what your paid to do! Make things happen, not go away!
Your not always right, lower your arrogance to the normal citizen, and talk to people as equal, not down to them.
- The local government here is reminding me of the buffoons who run local government in Massachusetts. Those fools are the reason so many businesses are fleeing there, and we have the same buffoons here.
- Speaking of [ “They had a very dysfunctional design team.”]
look first at the city, some codes are ridiculous.
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