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Dunkin' Donuts

April 12, 2020 - 3:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Dunkin' Donuts, news, batavia, NY State Veterans Home, COVID-19.

We don't normally share things like this, not having a Letters to the Editor section, but this was nice to highlight on an Easter Sunday during the coronavirus:

To the girls at the Batavia Dunkin’ Donuts. thank you for the free coffees for the nurses and healthcare workers. I got my two coffees free from the Batavia Dunkin because I am a nurse and a healthcare worker. You guys made my day being open and made me tear up for the thank yous!!!!

I wanted to let everyone know how awesome they made me feel for being a nurse in this COVID-19 time!

Larissa Miller, an LPN at the New York State Veterans Home.

July 27, 2017 - 6:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Dunkin' Donuts, batavia, business, news.

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At the new Dunkin' Donuts on West Main Street, Batavia, you can get a free charge, if you have an electric car, to go with your morning jolt of coffee.

This is apparently a trend for Dunkin' Donuts with a few popping up around the country.

The charging station is listed on PlugShare -- a listing that might encourage drivers of electric cars to exit the Thruway in Batavia if they're a little low on energy.

April 18, 2017 - 1:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Dunkin' Donuts, batavia, Batavia HS, news.

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Emily Murphy, a student from Batavia High School convinced the folks at Dunkin' Donuts today to let her use their sign to ask Rachel Salvadore for a prom date. No word on if she accepted.

Update: Rachel has accepted.

October 14, 2016 - 11:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Dunkin' Donuts, batavia, business, news.

dunkinconstructionoct142016.jpg

Construction began this week on the new Dunkin' Donuts location on West Main Street, Batavia. The location is on the south side of the street, across from Redfield Parkway and next to Barrett's Batavia Marine.

November 20, 2015 - 11:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Dunkin' Donuts, batavia, business, Redfield Parkway, land use.

It took the city's Zoning Board of Appeals more than 45 minutes Thursday to make motions, collect seconds and tally votes on five variances that clear the way for a new Dunkin' Donuts franchise on West Main Street, across from Redfield Parkway.

After a presentation by the project's engineer Kip Finley and comments from members of the public, all Redfield Parkway residents opposed to the project, it came time for the ZBA board to vote on the variance requests for parking, driveways, building placement and height.

Minutes would pass before a motion would be made, then a long pause before a second, and when the question was called, the votes came slow.

All of the variances were approved, but as Chairman Jeff Gillard confirmed later, the board wasn't really thrilled to be the final hurdle the developers need to clear to be able to proceed with the project.

"You can't go by emotion," Gillard said. "You've got to follow the law."

With no legal reason not to approve the variance requests, the board didn't have much recourse, even if they are sympathetic with the concerns of Redfield Parkway residents over potential traffic congestion in the area.

The traffic issues are not part of the ZBA's legal authority to consider.

On the fifth and final variance, allowing a 14-foot wide driveway to access the property from West Main, Board Member Emma Kate Morrill-Mahoney struggled with her vote. She's expressed concern that the angle still wouldn't prevent cars from trying to use it as an exit. The zoning code calls for a 20-foot wide driveway, but that width would probably make it even more likely that patrons would use it for an exit, causing traffic issues. So if Morrill-Mahoney voted no, causing disapproval of the variance on a tie vote, the driveway would have to be 20-foot. When she realized her vote would potentially only make matters worse, she decided to vote yes.  

The Redfield Parkway residents who spoke uniformly raised concerns about traffic congestion.

"What does Dunkin’ Donuts have against the better neighborhoods in Batavia?" asked Donald Fryling. "First they build at the end of Ellicott Avenue, now they want to build at Redfield. What’s next, a donut shop on Naramore Drive?"

A Dunkin' Donuts at this location, between Barrett's Marine & Sporting Supplies and Five Star Bank, was first proposed a year ago and that proposal was rejected by city planners. Finley met with city staff and fashioned a new proposal to address the concerns of the city and the residents. The building will be Cape Cod style in design to better match the homes in the area; it's frontage will align with Barrett's to be a little more urban and less suburban sprawl in feel; and the driveways will be narrower to better channel traffic in the directions that least hinder the flow of traffic.

All of these changes necessitated approvals for variances from the ZBA, and since they were good faith efforts by the developer to address concerns, the ZBA couldn't just arbitrarily reject them. 

Among the questions raised through the planning process is why Dunkin' Donuts in this location? Why not another location?

Franchisee Mike Mikolajczyk said it's simple, this location makes the most business sense.

"It's absolutely the best location we could have in the city," Mikolajczyk said.

There have been marketing studies and traffic flow studies and all of the data singles out this location as the best one currently available among all other options.

"It's a great intersection, a great area, that's why everybody wants to be there and that's why it's busy, and that's where Dunkin' goes, a busy area," Mikolajczyk said.

Finley said the next step in the process is completing the architectural drawings and completing the purchase of the property.  The earliest the new shop could be open is prior to Christmas 2016.

Since a donut shop isn't a destination type of business, but a business that captures existing traffic, it's important to be where the traffic is, Mikolajczyk explained, and since it's not a destination, it won't add to traffic congestion, as some neighbors fear.

"I've visited with people in the neighborhood and they all have my phone number," Mikolajczyk said. "I don't' want to be a bad neighbor. I don't want to have people hate me before I even get in there, so I'm doing my best to be a good neighor and be a good businessman and asset to the neighborhood."

One reason the location is important to Mikolajczyk is that his current location -- on the corner of Ellicott Avenue and West Main -- does a great job of capturing eastbound traffic. It doesn't capture a lot of westbound traffic, and the new location will do that, he said.

Asked why this location instead of something on East Main, and Mikolajczyk kind of smiled. That may be coming, too, he said.

November 18, 2015 - 7:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Dunkin' Donuts, batavia, business, land use.

The process of getting approval for a new Dunkin' Donut's has served to make for a better plan, project engineer Kip Finley told city planners during Tuesday's meetings, where planners eventually approved or recommended approval of a series of plans and variances allowing the project to go forward. 

The proposed Dunkin will be slipped in between Barrett's Batavia Marine and Five Star Bank on West Main Street, with the cooperation and blessing of those two property owners. The three properties will share driveways in and out of the location, helping traffic flow and thereby addressing one of the recurring objections to construction of the franchise store.

Finley, working on behalf of Dunkin' Donuts and franchisee Mike Mikolajczyk, who owns the current Dunkin' in the city, at West Main and Ellicott Avenue, has been hauling elevation drawings before city and county planners since September 2014, and until Tuesday's votes hadn't received much in the way of nods of approval.

The new design fits into the current environment better, Finley said.  The building will be a little more residential looking and the frontage will align with Barrett's, making it more of an urban approach to aligning storefronts.

Even so, there are still residents from nearby Redfield Parkway who object to the proposed location.

"Regardless of how good the aesthetics of the building, none of the design changes will improve its location," said Nan Zorn, a Redfield resident.

The planning committee approved the site plan review and recommend to the Zoning Board of Appeals that it approve variances for the frontage, the driveways and parking.

By code, the size of the building would require 80 parking spaces, which board members agreed was a bit much.

The Burger King on West Main has 80 spaces and Finley pointed out that is way more than the drive-thru restaurant needs.

"If you go there, the front third are used, and the rest you could play basketball on," Finley said.
"There are weeds growing. It doesn't get used."

Finley's work is not done. Dunkin's new location doesn't get built if the city's ZBA doesn't approve the variances.

November 11, 2015 - 1:02pm
posted by Raymond Coniglio in Le Roy, business, Dunkin' Donuts.

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It’s almost time to make the doughnuts.

Dunkin’ Donuts will open its newest restaurant at 125 W. Main St. at 5 a.m. Monday, said Joe Bochiechio, multi-unit manager for franchisee Cafua Management Company, LLC.

The restaurant is located at the site of the former Grove Motel, across from the Oatka Podmall. Town planners approved the project in October 2014, and construction has been under way since spring.

Bochiechio said his company has been pleased by the reception.

“It’s been great,” Bochiechio said. “People have been very anxious to have us.”

Twenty-five people have been hired so far — “pretty much all from the Le Roy area,” Bochiechio said — and the location will eventually employ 30.

Hours will be from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

Dunkin’ Donuts has more than 11,300 restaurants worldwide. Methuen, Mass.-based Cafua Management Company is its largest privately owned franchisee, with more than 300 restaurants across the United States.

The company has ambitious plans for the Rochester region. Bochiechio said he has helped open seven or eight new restaurants since 2013, and new locations are planned for Warsaw and next year in Mount Morris.

“We’re continuing to grow,” Bochiechio said.

August 14, 2015 - 9:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, Dunkin' Donuts, batavia, corfu, Stafford, Pavilion.

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For local Dunkin' Donut franchisee Mike Mikolajczyk, he thinks he's found the perfect location to open up a second shop, but the problem is, for the second time, land-use planners disagree.

In September of last year, the City Planning Board listened to objections raised by nearby residents and rejected a plan for a donut shop on West Main Street on a small lot between Five Star Bank and Barrett's Batavia Marine.

Mikolajczyk and his architect presented a new plan that they hope addresses traffic flow concerns to the Genesee County Planning Board, but the board voted to recommend disapproval of the site plan.

That doesn't kill the project. The City Planning Board can still approve the plan with a majority-plus-one vote.

The revised plan, said architect Kip Finley (photo), would allow for eight cars in queue before backing up into the parking lot, and the parking lot could accommodate an additional five cars before they would start backing up onto West Main. 

Mikolajczyk's existing Dunkin franchise location, on West Main and Ellicott Avenue, captures mostly westbound commuter traffic in the morning. The proposed new location, said Finley, would help the small business owner capture more business from eastbound commuters.

With the recommended disapproval, it's back to the drawing board, Mikolajczyk said, to try and come up with a project that planners will favor. It's important enough to him, he said, to keep trying.

"It's a good location for the type of business we are," Mikolajczyk said. "That's the best location. I don't want to do a location just for the sake of putting another one in, another Dunkin' in. I want to make sure I have the right location."

Other County Planning Board recommendations:

  • Approval of an area variance for a new barn in the front yard of 10528 Pavilion Center Road. The proposed barn meets setback requirements, but the Town of Pavilion's zoning code doesn't permit front yard accessory buildings. County planners said the proposed barn is not likely to have significant community-wide or local impacts and there are other properties in the area with front yard accessory buildings;
  • Approval with modifications for a special use permit for a restaurant as an accessory business to proposed hotel at 7758 E. Main Road, Le Roy. Planners want to see more parking for the business;
  • Approval for a solar array at 6332 Byron Holley Road, Byron;
  • Disapproval of a proposed subdivision for a 17-lot subdivision on Fieldcrest Drive, Corfu. Planners found the proposed subdivision plans do not comply with existing code because of a lack of detail in the plans. Planners also expressed concern about the lack of protection for federally identified wetlands on lots 9, 10, 16 and 17;
  • Tabled consideration of a variance for fence height at 8903 Route 237, Stafford. Planners were concerned about the lack of detail. The application lacked plans and pictures. Property owner James Pontillo said he turned in all of the required documents to the Town of Stafford. If he did, the documents were not forwarded to the County Planning Department. Pontillo said he would have his attorney provide the materials by the board's next meeting.
September 16, 2014 - 10:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Dunkin' Donuts.

There won't be Dunkin' Donut coffee addicts zipping into a new shop on West Main Street, Batavia, any time soon, it seems.

The City's planning board rejected a site plan for the propose fast food restaurant outright following a public hearing Tuesday.

Paul Viele, the board member who made the motion to reject the proposal, cited concerns over traffic and complaints from residents on Redfield Parkway and River Street.

The proposed location was a lot squeezed in between First Niagara Bank and Barrett's Batavia Marine.

Jett Mehta, president of the Pittsford-based development company looking to build a second Dunkin' Donuts in Batavia, said his company had looked at several properties on both the west side and the east side of the city before settling on a location they felt had sufficient traffic to support the franchise.

Donut stores and drive-thru coffee shops  need high-traffic locations, Mehta explained.

"We don't generate traffic just because somebody decides they want to drive across town to get a cup of coffee," Mehta said. "They might, but we generally don't generate traffic. We capture traffic."

Kip Finley, an engineer on the project, said getting coffee and donuts is more a matter of "impulse purchases from people who are already right there."

Board members and public speakers expressed some skepticism about the "captured traffic" motif. 

"Tim Hortons is not captured traffic," John Roach said. "People go there to get a cup of coffee, so I can see a lot more than five or six cars getting in line."

Mehta and his team brought their proposal to the city a couple of weeks ago and planners asked that the alignment of the store be changed so as many 20 cars in queue.

The developers did, even though they are vehement that there will never be 20 cars in queue.  

"Our company operates 19 Dunkin Donuts with drive thrus," Mehta said. "We've never seen 20 cars in queue. Twenty cars in a drive-thru queue just never happens. It's not how the business is run."

When board members expressed concerns about the reconfigured site dumping traffic on River Street, Finley said that was a result of trying to accommodate the request to have space for 20 cars backed up in line.

"We're pretty flexible on those things," Finley said. "We now have two plans and both work pretty well."

Neighboring business owner Mike Barrett called the project "ill conceived."

He said there was a 400 gallon propane tank at the back of the property, an auto parts store in the neighboring shopping mall that certainly stores a lot of chemicals. He wondered if the Fire Department had signed off on the project with access to those buildings being restricted.

He also said the DEC required access to the Tonawanda Creek from that location for grass cutting operations.

Code Enforcement Officer Doug Randall said City Fire had been consulted and Chief Jim Maxwell had signed off on the plans.

Redfield Parkway resident Jim Owen said he loves Dunkin' Donuts and doesn't made a section location in Batavia, just not that location.

"We're really getting overwhelmed with the traffic," Owen said. "If you try to get out on certain dates and certain hours, it's just brutal."

After the meeting, Mehta said he and his team will need to convene and decide with to continue pursuing a second Dunkin Donuts location in Batavia. 

Mike Mikolajczyk, owner of the current franchise and prospective owner of the second franchise, said during the meeting that the number one request he gets from current customers is a drive-thru location.

Asked about possible locations on the east side of the city, Mikolajczyk said it doesn't appear yet that East Main has the traffic volume to support a Dunkin' Donuts.

Photo: Steve Pum and Kip Finley.

September 12, 2014 - 1:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, West Main Street, Dunkin' Donuts.

County planners took a dim view of a new Dunkin' Donuts location on West Main Street, on a sliver of a lot between First Niagara Bank and Barrett's Batavia Marine.

After raising doubts about traffic flow, parking, parking for neighboring businesses, signage, building color and design, a motion to approve the project failed 3-5.

There was no follow-up motion to disapprove the project, which is a little more favorable to developer Kip Finley (pictured above). A disapproving vote would have required the City of Batavia Planning Board to approve the plans by a majority plus one. With no recommendation from the county, only a simple majority vote is required for approval.

Still, Finley wasn't happy as he left the meeting.

"Unfortunately, county planning talks about reusing property and building where there's development and not forcing development out into green areas, except they don't vote that way," Finally said. "Fairly disappointed."

Finley acknowledged there's a lot of traffic at the proposed location, but "that's where we put stores."

Planners were concerned that traffic would back up onto the street.

The City had already asked for a lot configuration so that as many as 20 cars could queue up in line, but Finley said that if a Dunkin Donuts store ever had as many as seven cars waiting in line, it would mean the store was a poorly run location.

He said store managers strive to keep traffic moving quickly because many customers won't even stop if they see a few cars already in line.

Planning staff expressed concern about signs in front of the building because of the potential visual impact on Redfield Parkway, which is designated "culturally significant" street by the Genesee-Finger Lakes Regional NYS DOT.

The problem for the proposed Dunkin' Donuts location, Finley said is that with the bank and its trees on the east side and Barrett's on the west side, signs on the sides of building won't have much visibility.

He also said the sign needs to be internally lit to have any meaningful impact on drawing in visitors who might be passing through and are unfamiliar with the area.

October 23, 2013 - 6:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, Le Roy, Dunkin' Donuts.

It's not just an Internet rumor -- Dunkin' Donuts is indeed going to open a location in Le Roy.

Reached at home this evening, Le Roy's code enforcement officer Jeff Steinbrenner confirmed that a representative of the new location brought plans before the Town Planning Board Oct. 15.

He said the shop should be open by spring.

The location is between Pizzaland and Townsend Energy on West Main Street, in the Village.

The lot has been vacant for probably 30 years, said Mayor Greg Rogers. Longtime residents will remember it as the spot of the old Grove Motel.

No further information is available at this time.

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