FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — All there is to see at the corner of Lima and Hathaway roads are acres of soybeans, white building advertising fertilizer and then a line of tall, mature trees. But that will likely soon change. That 14.5 acres there is slated to become a neighborhood shopping center, according to designs submitted to the Allen County Plan Commission.

Glenn Conkling, a long-time local developer who represents Leroy Schmucker, the property’s owner, says the site is planned for a neighborhood center, something the neighbors will be able to walk to and like.

You’ll find a couple of restaurants, a bank or credit union, a hardware store, maybe a hair salon, or “things that neighbors would stop in to,” Conkling said.

“We don’t want a Taco Bell in our backyard,” he added.

The property is surrounded to the east by housing developments, a couple of them Quail Creek and Talons Reach. Conkling said he made sure he reached out to the neighbors to reassure them that any development would be favorable.

“Everything I’ve ever done, I always meet with the neighbors, to make sure we’re doing things correctly,” Conkling said.

Schmucker said he is leaving the development details up to Conkling.

“As of right now, we are rezoning it,” Schmucker said. The property is currently zoned agricultural, like much of the property in Perry Township before explosive growth started.

Although the developers don’t want to limit certain aesthetic details, the idea is to keep the trees standing, as much as possible and to keep the back row to one story. The stores that front on Lima will be higher.

“The businesses may look 2-story,” Conkling said but will be 1 ½ story, much like current commercial trends.  More than likely, the restaurants will face Lima Road, he added.

Conkling estimates there are 250 trees on the property, many of them 15 to 20 feet tall. The plans are to replant them at a cost of about $500 apiece. Keeping the trees would be far superior to planting smaller trees that can take years to grow into sizable ones.

More details will likely be revealed at the Sept. 14 Allen County Plan Commission public hearing.