Construction to begin soon on new Dunkin' Donuts

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WILMINGTON — If all goes as planned, Dunkin' Donuts could be up and running at 43 East Main St. in the next eight to 10 weeks — a good time for iced coffee and other cold drinks that customers like to sip in summer months.

"We've hired LaCrosse Construction to be the general contractor," Mike Behn, chief operating officer of Sandri Realty, said Monday. "Work should start in another week. We ran into a little snafu with demolition of the building."

The developers needed to file an intent to demolish with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to Wilmington Zoning Administrator Craig Ohlson. The document must be submitted a minimum of 10 days beforehand.

The existing building will be razed down to its original foundation, Behn said, and a new Dunkin' Donuts will be constructed within the same footprint.

"We'll build a large wall around the property to allow for a drive-thru," he said.

The coffee and doughnut franchise will occupy about 95 percent of the building, according to Behn. Sandri is expecting to use the rest of the space for holding gasoline equipment. The station will stay a Sunoco. The gasoline dispensers will be new but there will be no changes to the layout of the pumps.

Ohlson said six diagonal parking spots are shown in plans for the side of the property facing the post office. On the other side, nearest to the laundromat, is one parallel space.

Cadette and Nadreau LLC will run the Dunkin' Donuts franchise.

"These guys are good operators," Behn said. "We have them in our site at Bernardston, Mass. Folks have really embraced them. They're really active in the community."

That could be good news in Wilmington, where the project had been controversial while the local permitting process took place in summer 2015. Concerns had to do with access and allowing a big-box store to set up shop on Main Street, although Family Dollar was sited right next door with Shaw's and Rite Aid down the road. Despite cries from some community members to deny the permit for Dunkin' Donuts, the project was approved in September 2015.

"We have one final hearing on June 5," Behn said. "To go over some final changes to the signs."

Ohlson said most of the signs can be permitted through his office but two will need approval from the Development Review Board, the same body that approved the earlier permit. The sign displaying the Dunkin' Donuts menu and a freestanding sign will be considered by the DRB at its meeting next month.

Unlike the previous hearing on the project, Ohlson does not anticipate a big turnout. Testimony from the applicants indicated the business would create 14 new jobs.

"That's a good possibility, depending on how business is," said John Nadreau, who will operate the site with his business partner Joe Cadette. "What's nice is it will be a restaurant style, almost a freestanding location where we'll have inside seating and a television for guests to relax. It's not just a gas station anymore. It's a destination where people can relax."

Ten seats, with soft covering, are planned for the inside of the restaurant. Doughnuts will be cooked on the premise. That doesn't happen too often anymore, Nadreau said.

"We're hiring," he added, referring to the Wilmington franchise. "Right now, we're looking for managers, assistants and sales clerks."

Applications can be filled out on dunkindonuts.com/career or faxed to 978-534-9159. Applicants can also call 979-534-9754, ext. 16.

Together, Cadette and Nadreau run 22 other Dunkin' Donuts sites with two others under construction. Typically, Nadreau said, a grand opening celebration is held at a location six to eight weeks after opening.

Reach staff writer Chris Mays at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or @CMaysBR.

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