Even with the COVID-19 pandemic present in the community, contractors have continued construction work in parts of Athens.
While builders are busy elsewhere, one project that has slowed is the Triton development on East Tyler Street.
"They recently hired a new contractor to finish out all of the site work," Athens Director of Development Services Audrey Sloan said.
"That should get started pretty quickly and once that is complete, Panda Express can begin work for their site."
In 2017, members of the Planning and Zoning Commission approved a Triton site plan. Three large houses were demolished to make way for the new structures and parking area.
Since then, a Dairy Queen, Burger King, KFC and a car wash have opened for business. Meanwhile, the property owned by Triton has been cleared, but no new construction is visible.
"There hasn't been a lot of activity on the site here lately," Sloan said.
So far, Panda Express is the only company that has submitted a permit for individual construction at the location. Construction on it can begin once the site is ready.
Elsewhere in Athens, Wing Stop has submitted a permit to go in a vacant suite in a strip center by WalMart. Oak Wood Place Assisted Living is in the first phase of an expansion and Morton's Small Animal Clinic is building a new facility behind the existing structure.
"Once the new building is complete, they'll tear down the old building," Sloan said.
Meanwhile, land is being cleared on the northwest side of town for a new development. Winters Oil Partnership has gained approval of a site plan for a gas station and convenience store at 6096 U.S. Highway 175 West. That location is where the U.S. 175 intersects with Loop 7 as the highway exits the city on the way to Eustace.
"Their site plan was approved by council, but they haven't started the building permit process yet," Sloan said.
And of course, the most eagerly awaited construction continues at the Cain Center. The likely date for completion is in the middle of 2021.
Sloan joined the City of Athens team about two years ago. Before that she spent seven years as the Planning and Zoning Manager for the City of Corsicana.