Miami Twp. has approved a plan expected to bring more restaurants to Austin Landing. NICK BLIZZARD/STAFF

Austin Landing restaurant plans call for 2 stories, outdoor space

The last building on the village surrounding the park will be a 19,652 square foot site within yards of a bicycle hub and across the street from two bar/restaurants connected to 12-screen luxury cinema under construction now, said VisCap Development President Larry Dillin.

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It’s a location expected to draw more people – and traffic – to an area where pedestrian safety is a concern, and Dillin said he wants to make a “more walkable environment.”

The project is “very, very important to the overall (atmosphere) we’re trying to create,” he said.

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“It is significant commitment in our judgment,” he told Miami Twp. trustees this week before they voted in favor of the plan.

It is the second building in as many months planned to house restaurants that has been green-lighted by the township as part of what Dillin has described as a $45 million construction effort expected to take two years. A nearly 10,000 square foot building that is expected to house up to four tenants east of the park was approved in March.

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VisCap has yet to disclose the names of any tenants, but Dillin said there could be as many as six restaurants. Both projects should be built and occupied by early next year, he said.

The building voted on this week “is in a critical location in the development, being the last on the park,” he said, noting later: “the three restaurants we’re talking about will all have significant outdoor space.”

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Dillin told trustees the building north of the park will be part of an effort to increase pedestrian access and safety that will include upgrades to streetscapes, landscapes, crosswalks and signage. Those improvements are expected to take about three years, Dillin has said.

“I have a commitment to increasing pedestrian connectivity to buildings, to create a more walkable environment and a safer environment,” he said.

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“And so we’ve been looking closely at the streetscape environment,” Dillin added. “…The architecture of the buildings transitioning to the landscape” is a key element.

Miami Twp. Board of Trustees President Andrew Papanek was critical of how Austin Landing accommodates both foot and vehicle traffic. But Papanek said he is encouraged with the steps VisCap is taking to improve pedestrian safety and access.

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“I think those concerns have been addressed by Mr. Dillin,” he said. “He looks at laying out the plan a little bit differently, and for him the foremost thing is to make sure the citizen has good access to and from all of the activities that are down there.”

The plan “is going to address most of those problems and correct them,” Papanek said.

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