Dunkin' Donuts Begins Construction in Oakville
The proposal drew a strong reaction from the community during a public hearing in June 2011.
Construction on a Dunkin’ Donuts has started in the Telegraph Shopping Center, and an open date is predicted in October or November.
Approved by the county more than a year ago, the doughnut shop drew concerns from the community.
Residents in a nearby subdivision shared concerns over traffic at a public hearing in June 2011. The space was a formerly a Jazzercise exercise facility, which received a “Notice to Terminate Tenancy,” with a one-month notice to relocate. Webster Groves-based Breihan Properties owns the shopping center.
The proposed fast food restaurant will be a freestanding building with 32 seats on the inside and 12 seats on the outside. It is also expected to eliminate 31 of the shopping center’s 368 parking spaces.
Franchise owner Michael Geller was unreachable, but Debbye Bimslager, the manager of the Dunkin' Donuts location in Kirkwood, said the store would be open before the end of 2012. Geller owns stores in Kirkwood and Rock Hill. Another location in Ellisville will open in September, Bimslager said.
The St. Louis County Planning Commission gave unanimous approval for the Dunkin’ Donuts in June 2011 despite residents’ concerns over the site.
Lighting, landscape and fencing concerns were specifically addressed for the homes on Golden Valley Drive, which is located behind the proposed 24-hour coffee and doughnut shop.
Revised drawings and additional documentation—provided by Geller’s engineer—show 150 linear feet of 6-foot tall fencing, 30 bayberry shrubs that can grow to a height of 9 to 15 feet and shadow-box lights not to exceed 16 feet in height. The lights are designed to illuminate downward rather than fan out.
There was no discussion of sound, nor was there any discussion of traffic concerns.
However, nearby Birchwood Estates residents who attended the meeting in June 2011 cited their concern about traffic.
“It’s going to be a nightmare,” said Matt Cash, who lives on Golden Valley Drive. He is concerned about extra traffic generated by cars entering and exiting the lot from Telegraph Road.
“Why not put it (Dunkin' Donuts) on Pottle and Telegraph? There’s a vacant carwash, it’s an eyesore and it has its own entry and exit,” he said.
Dennis Banker, who lives in Birchwood Estates and attended the meeting, is still not happy with the prospect of a doughnut shop open 24/7, but was pleased with some changes.
“I think we won some concessions tonight,” he said.
“We will do our best to be a good neighbor,” said Geller of residents’ concerns. His mother and aunt operate several Dunkin' Donut franchises in New Jersey.