Dunkin’ Donuts proposed in Northfield
Updated: August 27, 2012 10:47AM
NORTHFIELD — Commuters hankering for a donut and coffee on their way onto the Edens may soon have the option of stopping at Dunkin’ Donuts.
Developers John Beljan and Mike Chookaszian want to erect a 6,500-square-foot shopping center at the site, now a vacant lot, anchored by a Dunkin’ Donuts that would occupy about a third of that space. The Dunkin’ Donuts franchise would include a drive-in.
The project, to be located on a former site of a BP gas station at 1900 Willow Road, received a positive recommendation from members of the Planning and Zoning Commission Monday night. On Tuesday night, members of the Architectural Commission are expected to address some landscaping and signage issues before the village board receives the proposal at its Aug. 20 board meeting.
Because the development includes both a drive-in and an eating establishment, the village requires a special use permit. The site is zoned for commercial use.
Traffic and parking concerns were the biggest questions of the proposal, said Steve Gutierrez, community development director, but the village traffic consultant, Gewalt Hamilton Associates, said area roadways should be able to handle the additional traffic generated by the restaurant.
“The traffic consultants said the number of trips to be generated by the business would be no more than what would be expected for a commercial development,” he said.
Consultants also considered the parking was sufficient for the site.
“They assumed the worst case scenario — that a restaurant would occupy the rest of the building, an unknown business that would be open after 10 a.m., and determined the parking should be adequate,” Gutierrez said.
That’s because the Dunkin’ Donuts is likely to generate most of its business in the early morning when the other businesses would not be open, he said.
“If that happened (that a restaurant would like to go into the rest of the development), it would have to come back for another special use permit, and we could look to see whether our assumptions were correct,” Gutierrez said.
Developers have not yet secured tenants for the rest of the site.
A number of residents from the Crooked Creek Condos raised some issues and developers agreed to most of their concerns, Gutierrez said. Both sides agreed to work on the remaining issue, location of the trash bins that residents considered too close to their site. The residential buildings are located south of the proposed development.