Donut chain eyes Springfield location

Dunkin’ Donuts could go next to Schuler’s on Springfield’s south side.

A national donut chain restaurant could be coming to the city’s south side, according to public documents.

The Springfield Board of Zoning Appeals will vote on a conditional use permit for a planned Dunkin’ Donuts location at 1931-1935 S. Limestone Street. The meeting will be held today at 7 p.m. at the City Hall Forum, 76 E. High St.

The 1.13-acre restaurant would be located at the vacant lot formerly occupied by the former Taco Bell, which burned in 2007, was demolished in 2008 and was later rebuilt down the street.

The restaurant would also be right next to one of its competitors in the city, Schuler’s Bakery.

Dunkin’ Donuts would have a drive-thru, according to the application, and expects its busiest time to be between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. They also plan to purchase an adjacent property to allow for more parking.

City staff has recommended approval of the conditional use permit, according to Bryan Heck, the city’s planning and zoning administrator. The application was originally scheduled for vote at the May meeting, but it was held as plans were finalized. Heck said he’s received just one call about the planned development.

“It illustrates South Limestone is a viable commercial corridor in our community,” Heck said. “It’s an important corridor to continue to invest and reinvest in.”

Representatives from Schuler’s did not return calls seeking comment on the application.

Heck said while both companies are in the same market, they have different business models. Schuler’s is a traditional bakery, while Dunkin’ Donuts is a fast food restaurant, Heck said.

“It’s really a different niche,” Heck said.

The south side is also the only area of town without one of Dunkin’ Donuts major competitors, Tim Horton’s. The Canadian-based cafe and bake shop currently has locations on North Limestone Street and West North Street, as well as a third location in development on East Main Street.

Heck said Dunkin’ Donuts carefully scouted its location and believes it can capture people coming into work from Interstate 70, as well as residents leaving town in the morning.

“Obviously, they’ve done their market research,” Heck said. “I think it will be a great fit in that area.”

No information was available on when construction could begin and how many jobs the restaurant could bring to Springfield. According to the application, the sale of the properties is contingent on the conditional use permit.

Justin Drake, public relations manager for Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc., said the company is “currently looking into sites” for a restaurant in Springfied, but wouldn’t share any additional details “on a potential location.”

Pat Gilligan of Cincinnati-based Gilligan Oil Company LLC is the prospective franchisee, according to public documents. Gilligan did not return a message seeking comment.

In February, Dunkin’ Brands — the parent company for both Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins — struck a 13-store deal with Gilligan to bring 13 new restaurants to the Dayton area in 2014. They’re also expanding into Toledo, Lima and southeast Ohio, according to a press release.

Dunkin’ Donuts has more than 10,000 locations in 32 countries worldwide, including 7,000 restaurants in 36 states nationally.

Gilligan Oil supplies gasoline to over 80 locations throughout Southwest Ohio, including the Sunoco station at 2253 S. Limestone St., according to its website. The company also owns several Subway and Popeye’s locations in Cincinnati and Columbus, many of which are tied to gas stations.

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