Q: It was mentioned a while ago a freestanding Dunkin’ Donuts would be built in the vicinity of the Courthouse Shadows shopping center. Have the plans changed?
— Joanne Forestell, Naples
Q: I was wondering if Dunkin’ Donuts still plans on opening a new store in Courthouse Shadows. If so, do they already have a date set?
— Ed, Naples
A: Manhattan Construction is scheduled to start work today on the new Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru on U.S. 41 East in East Naples, said Jim Grifoni, managing partner of Gulf Coast Donuts LLC.
This particular store has been the most anticipated because it will fill the hole left by the 2007 closing of the Dunkin’ Donuts nearby in Naples Towne Centre and finally will make good on the announcement made more than two years ago that the new store was coming.
The new Dunkin’ will be built from the ground up on an undeveloped half-acre outparcel just south of Burger King at the southernmost tip of Courthouse Shadows. Completion will be in October, maybe sooner, Grifoni said.
“We will definitely have a fall opening for Dunkin’ Donuts,” he said.
The doughnut shop will use about 2,000 square feet of a nearly 6,000-square-foot building that will have space available for one or more other tenants, Grifoni said.
The local franchisee is planning to open three other Dunkin’ Donuts in Collier County within the next year. Those plans include relocating the store next to CiCi’s Pizza in Uptown Center a mile east to the outparcel space in front of the former Albertsons supermarket and vacated Naples International Pavilion at Livingston and Immokalee roads.
The move, expected to be completed by Sept. 1, will put the coffee and doughnut business on the busier side of Immokalee Road during the morning commute and give it another highly visible stand-alone location with an opportunity to expand, Grifoni said.
“We’ll have our own parking lot and a drive-thru, and we’ll be able to control our own destiny,” he said.
Also this fall, a new Dunkin’ is planned to open in Immokalee Plaza, the shopping center anchored by Winn-Dixie at Lake Trafford Road and State Road 29 in Immokalee.
In the first quarter of 2014, Dunkin’ Donuts plans to open a stand-alone, drive-through location on an undeveloped outparcel in Mission Hills Shopping Center, anchored by Sweetbay Supermarket on the corner of Collier Boulevard and Vanderbilt Beach Road.
Grifoni plans another location in Collier County in 2014, but he said he is not ready to disclose details about it yet. Even then, he still has a lot of ground to cover, from Estero to Marco Island, to honor his 20-store commitment to Dunkin’ Brands for his franchise territory in Collier and south Lee County.
“I have to do a total of 20 by 2016,” he said. “I will have 11 when 2013 ends.”
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