Plano is one step closer to getting a food truck park this week with the approval of a special use permit and preliminary site plan by the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Hub Streat, the proposed food truck park and restaurant concept, is slated to sit at the corner of 14th Street and M Avenue on a vacant 1.6-acre piece of land just east of downtown Plano. The proposal passed unanimously and will go before city council for final approval soon.
Hub Streat will be anchored by a restaurant created from former shipping containers with space surrounding it for two or three food trucks, live music and entertainment, and seating.
James West, founder and president of Hub Streat, told the P&Z commission, “What I’m trying to do here is take several facets and put them in one venue, and part of that is the food trucks, because they attract a lot of excitement.”
Easy Slider Truck was one of the early arrivals on the Dallas food truck scene, and co-owner Miley Holmes said if the Plano food truck park becomes a reality, her teal, stars-and-stripes truck will be there.
“We are super excited—Plano is a tremendous market for us,” she said. “We have a permit to operate there and we visit offices and schools and other events already. People are hungry for food trucks there and we’d love to be a part of it.”
The food trucks at Hub Streat will rotate on a schedule to keep things interesting, and the key to their success will be foot traffic, said Terry Eddington, president of the North Texas Food Truck Association. This is one of the reasons food trucks typically are associated with urban environments: walkability means people can stop by and grab a bite.
“Food truck parks are like any other business: they require foot traffic. They have to be in areas where people are or people go by,” he said. “There’s a lot of business in the suburbs and typically they will do best in a more commercial setting.”
Eddington said he believes scheduling the trucks will help make the proposed park a successful venture.
“Because people know where they’re at, the trucks get a decent amount of foot traffic if they are marketed correctly,” he said. “If it’s done right, it’s a good situation for everyone involved.”
Mark Williams, who was operations manager for Arlington-based Doughboy’s Pizza Truck from early 2010 to recently, said it’s not surprising the food truck concept is catching on in the suburbs.
“It’s trendy and popular now and street food is good! It’s adventure, its different, like when you go to the State Fair and find fried bubblegum,” he said. “It’s better food than what’s sold a lot of places and it’s fun, trendy, and affordable.”
Plano City Council only approved food trucks in January 2014, and vendors must pay a $300 fee for the health permit to operate within city limits, which is on the steep side compared to other North Texas cities, Williams said.
But that’s not dampening the enthusiasm of food truck operators about Hub Streat.
“[The Dallas area] is an event-based city and that has been a huge part of our business, from festivals to outdoor concerts to fundraisers and private parties,” Holmes said. “People are looking for that walkable neighborhood feel, which food trucks can help to create. It meets a number of different needs and it gives it an urban feel—people like the vibe and whole experience.”