Dunkin Donuts has entered into a lease agreement to move into this space next to Homerun Foods on Oglethorpe Blvd. according to Albany Downtown Manager Aaron Blair. (Staff photo: Brad McEwen) This Homerun Foods location on Oglethorpe Blvd. will soon also be home to Dunkin Donuts according to Albany Downtown Manager Aaron Blair. (Staff photo: Brad McEwen)
ALBANY — Albany coffee drinkers and donut fans will soon have a new place to get their morning fix when Dunkin Donuts moves into downtown Albany.
Downtown Manager and Albany-Dougherty Inner City Authority CEO Aaron Blair announced Monday that the national franchise had entered into a lease agreement to open a store adjacent to Homerun Foods on Oglethorpe Boulevard.
“I was told the lease has been signed and I got the green light to make an announcement,” Blair said. “They hope to get final approval on construction soon.”
Blair said once the chain moves in, the downtown area will then boast three of the largest coffee chains in the country, with Starbucks served at the Hilton Garden Inn and Green Mountain Coffee served at Cool Scoops.
Having a national chain like that will also boost the profile of the downtown area as Blair believes customers of the chain will make the trip to enjoy their favorite coffee, donut or sandwich.
“Obviously the franchise brand of Dunkin Donuts creates interest,” said Blair. “It’s going to be great.”
Blair also said the location on Oglethorpe Blvd is ideal for a chain like Dunkin Donuts due to the amount of traffic that passes by on daily basis.
“When you look at the traffic counts around the city, that stretch is either the highest or second highest traffic count in the city,” Blair said. “It’s going to be a great location.”
Blair added that the franchise is making a huge investment to move into downtown Albany, something that will only serve to help the area that has struggled to find anchor businesses in the past.
“I’m excited about the investment,” said Blair. “For us it’s great to have the only location in town.”
It was reported in The Albany Herald in September that the Albany-Dougherty Planning Commission voted 7-1 to rezone a parcel at 2307 Dawson Road, formerly Mason’s Jewelers, in order to allow for the possible construction of a Homerun Foods with an attached Dunkin Donuts.
According to Jeff Lanier, vice president and owner of Brad Lanier Oil Co., which owns and operates Homerun Foods, that plan is currently on hold and he and the Dunkin Donuts franchisee out of Florida are focusing thier efforts on the downtown location.
“It’s great for downtown,” said Lanier. “They are really investing a lot of money into a lease space. It’s going to be something really unique. They are going to redo the front of the building, expand the drive through and have a patio for outdoor dining.”
Lanier added that the franchisee currently owns more than 30 Dunkin Donuts locations and that Albany is fortunate that he is locating in town.
“He’s a top notch franchisee and operator,” said Lanier. “We’re proud to have him in Albany and he’s looking forward to coming here. Dunkin Donuts is a grand brand.”