The Denison Planning and Zoning Commission approved initial plans for the rebuild of the McDonald’s restaurant at FM 120 and U.S. Highway 75. The project will see the demolition of the current facility, which will be replaced with a new restaurant facing FM 120.

Denison Planning and Zoning Manager Steven Doss said the request to reposition the building on the site comes as the restaurant would like to adjust traffic flow coming through the parking lot. Under its current design, parking for the restaurant would occasionally be blocked by stacked parking in the drive-thru lanes.

“McDonald’s has decided to bring forth a little more of what we hope will be a more efficient operation out there,” Clay Cristy, representing Clay Moore Engineering and McDonald’s, said. “There is kind of a little free-for-all out there coming in whether they are coming in on (Hwy.) 75 or down off of the south right now.”

Under the proposed designs, the restaurant would be rotated about 90 degrees from its current location. Through this project, Doss said the restaurant will also reopen access to Old Pottsboro Road, which was previously blocked due to incoming traffic using the lot for access to other businesses.

With the rebuild, Cristy said the restaurant will be brought up to the current standards for McDonald’s and feature new amenities, kitchen equipment and an enclosed play area for children. Cristy compared the rebuild to a similar project at the Sherman McDonald’s in 2015.

“This will have all the bells and whistles that new McDonalds’ have,” he said.

The move to rebuild the Denison McDonald’s, which first opened about 30 years ago, comes as the restaurant chain has taken steps to modernize some of its locations, McDonald’s spokesman Chris Stanley said Tuesday. With the rebuild, Stanley said the location would be equipped with kiosks as a new way guests can place their orders. Other changes include a full-scale reroute of its drive-thru lines.

Cristy said the project would likely start within the next 30 to 60 days, but he was unsure how long it would take, noting uncertainties in permitting and other city processes. With the new rebuild, Cristy said the size of the building would be larger, but could not comment on the specific dimensions of the building.

Stanley said the average construction time for the recent rebuilds has varied depending on what the location needs. As such, he said he was uncertain on how long the Denison location would be closed for construction.

As part of the project, Doss said developers were making use of tree preservation incentives that the city offers for development. Developers plan to keep many of the existing trees on the site intact, and will only need to remove one, Doss said.

This tree preservation will allow developers to reduce the number of parking spots available from the required 65 to 54, Doss said.

The site plan was unanimously approved by the commission with a variance to allow metal as an exterior construction material.