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Dunkin Donuts gets closer to adding location in Gainesville
Doughnuts, coffee coming on Thompson Bridge, but more traffic, too
1014PLANNING
The Dunkin' Donuts planned at the old Yonah Burger on Thompson Bridge Road should feature this newer design.

If you’re a fan of glazed doughnuts, coffee and those kitschy old commercials with the tagline “Time to make the doughnuts,” things are turning in your favor.

The Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board gave its OK Tuesday night for a Dunkin’ Donuts to move into the old Yonah Burger location on Thompson Bridge Road in Gainesville across from the shopping center anchored by Publix.

But as seems to be the case when it comes to new development and businesses emerging in the city, some nearby residents have their concerns.

City Council will vote on the special use permit needed for the restaurant’s drive-thru on Nov. 3.

It’s been rumored for some time that a Dunkin’ Donuts would pop up on Thompson Bridge, including when a proposal was made to build an unspecified drive-thru restaurant on the corner of Thompson Bridge and Virginia Circle adjacent to Roper Park.

When Yonah Burger closed this summer, the existing building proved to be compatible with the new Dunkin’ Donuts design, which developers said is now more subtle than the location at the corner of Jesse Jewell Parkway and Queen City Parkway.  

The existing 2,500-square-foot building will be remodeled to accompany the Dunkin’ Donuts, but no demolition or major structural changes are expected.

According to city staff reports, minimal food preparation will take place on-site, and the restaurant does not require vents or exhaust fans.

The planning board’s approval comes with the condition that access to Green Street Circle, which runs directly behind the location, is only a one-way left turn exit.

That means motorists are not supposed to make right-hand turns into the residential neighborhood.

But resident Kathy Stroberg, who lives on Green Street Circle, said she and her neighbors were concerned about morning traffic backing up on Thompson Bridge with other businesses nearby also operating during rush hour.

Gainesville Planning Manager Matt Tate said “those are valid concerns” and that no traffic study was required before the Dunkin’ Donuts can move in.

Stroberg said she was also concerned about the late hours the shop would be open. Hours of operation are listed as 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.

“We’re trying to maintain our quiet residence,” she added.


New gas station likely coming to Shallowford Road

In other business, the planning board OK’d the development of a 12-pump Murphy gas station on Shallowford Road across from Wal-Mart and next to Discount Tire.

The station will include a convenience store and employ six to eight workers plus a store manager. It is expected to open sometime in 2016.

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