Dunkin' Donuts headed for Albany - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dunkin' Donuts headed for Albany

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City Commissioner Roger Marietta City Commissioner Roger Marietta
Albany-Dougherty Planning Commissioner Aaron Johnson Albany-Dougherty Planning Commissioner Aaron Johnson
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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Doughnut lovers may soon have a new hangout to grab a delectable pastry. Thursday the Albany-Dougherty Planning Commission took a step forward in bringing Dunkin' Donuts to the city into an empty building on Dawson Road.

But the approval was over a staff recommendation against because of potential traffic and noise concerns for neighboring residents. Homerun Foods would move into the space and potentially lease some of the property to Dunkin' Donuts. And that could mean more jobs may soon be coming to Albany.

The sugary, puffy pastries that could soon be available in an empty building on Dawson Road have many excited. "I live within walking distance, I'll put it that way,' laughs City Commissioner Roger Marietta. "I'd say it takes me about three, four minutes to get there."

The Albany-Dougherty Planning Commissioners voted 7-to-1 in favor of a Homerun Foods convenience store with an attached Dunkin' Donuts shop moving into the old Mason Jewelers building. A development that could bring 30 new jobs.

"A fairly significant capital investment too," said Albany-Dougherty Planning Commissioner Aaron Johnson. "So he mentioned the figure of at least a half-a-Million, maybe $750,000 in capital investments."

But a lengthy discussion about a new store raised concerns for nearby residents. "Well , the main issue here is the alley access and the fact that the drive-in window, Dunkin' Donuts would have a drive in window that's around 40-50 feet from a residence. So not only do you have an issue with noise, but also with traffic," Johnson said.

But some say noise wouldn't have been an issue with nearby bars and restaurants. "If Harvest Moon has not been in trouble and they're keeping noise down and they have live music, So I think that would supersede any noise level of a drive through," said Marietta.

But the concerns raised questions about an anti-business sentiment. "I think a lot of that perception is local," said Johnson. "And I think if you go beyond Albany and look at out of town businesses who have come to Albany, they recognize that actually we are very pro-business."

A six foot wall will be placed along the ally to deter any noise and traffic. "As a planning commissioner, you certainly want to promote jobs and economic growth, but you also want to balance that with stabilizing neighborhoods. And I think we did a good job in balancing those concerns in our recommendation," said Johnson.

So some more doughnuts could be moving to the city before too long. City leaders say they've been working to get a Dunkin' Donuts to the city for quite a while. The planning commission says the store is just the latest in some positive economic growth that's going on all around the city.

The issue will now be placed before the Albany City Commission before it can move forward. They'll take a vote on the issue on September 24th.

 

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