One of Platte City’s most visited businesses will undergo massive renovations, upgrading an iconic location to modern standards.
Last week, the Platte City Planning and Zoning Commission improved a site plan for McDonald’s — the first fast food restaurant in the city. The brick building topped with the red roof will be updated on the exterior with a more neutral brown tone, while an expansion on the east side of the building will add tables, additional restrooms and a “PlayPlace” area for kids.
The wooden gazebo on the southeast edge of the property will also be razed to make room for “pull forward drive-thru parking spots,” allowing a place for delayed orders to be conveniently delivered.
“It will enhance the building, bring it up to its modern standards, make it look like a really nice building,” said Doug Ubben of Phelps Engineering, Inc. of Olathe, Kan. “As far as the site goes, we’re not changing too much functionality-wise. We’re not changing the drive-thru. We are adding the PlayPlace and with that it kind of bumps the building out.”
The PlayPlace area expansion will require a lengthening of the drive-thru lane for customers exiting, but the effect will be minimal.
The Platte City Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved the plan with McDonald’s needing to meet a few minor provisions. Due to complications with land ownership, the city will ask for approval letters from owners along with using one of three options to help complete a sidewalk with access to Kentucky Avenue.
The city wants to be proactive in providing solutions to allow the renovations to take place.
“Because there’s multiple layers, it takes a while,” Platte City city administrator DJ Gehrt said, “and we didn’t want to hold them up. Rather than delaying McDonald’s, we are essentially giving the go-ahead but asking for those conditions.”
McDonald’s opened in Platte City about four decades ago becoming the city’s first fast food restaurant. The wooden gazebo became a unique structure but one that is very rarely used, making the decision to tear it down easy despite any lingering nostalgia for customers.
“It’s such a landmark,” joked planning and zoning commission member Jim U’ren.
The proposal comes after years of rumors that a new store or updates could be coming.
McDonald’s and neighboring QuikTrip worked with the City of Platte City and the Missouri Department of Transportation on a project to turn a shared drive between the two businesses into an extension of Kentucky Avenue. Completion of that project last summer spurred QuikTrip to announce plans for a new store with construction slated to begin this fall and last about nine months.
Like QuikTrip, McDonald’s doesn’t plan to close at any point during its construction process with officials saying either the lobby or drive-thru should be open — sometimes both — until work concludes. No start date has been set for the project, although it could begin as early as this fall.
“As long as I can get my McDouble after a double play,” planning and zoning chairman Ray Clements said referencing the Kansas City Royals’ promotion for $1 burgers the day after the team turns a double play.