Dirt is being tossed and mouths are watering in anticipation for the new Dunkin’ Donuts that is in the process of being built at the corner of U.S. Highway 98 and Northcliff Drive.
Workers started leveling out the land adjacent to Chick-fil-a in Gulf Breeze Proper late last month and City Manager Edwin “Buz” Eddy said it won’t be long before consumption of donuts can begin.
“They’re talking about (opening) in June,” Eddy said. “There are going to be three units total (in the strip mall).”
What remains in question is what businesses are planning to move into the other two units? Right now, one unit is rumored to be a Mattress Firm and the other could be a cell phone store.
The donut shop has waded through a flurry of hurdles over the past several years.
Back in June, the Gulf Breeze city council gave developers the OK for construction of the strip mall, which will have a total of 7,800 sq. ft.
Pavement is expected to wrap around the building allowing the donut shop to have a drive-thru window. The massive amounts of asphalt will also make room for nearly 40 parking spaces.
One of the biggest concerns with the project has been traffic. Eddy said the site plan for the property could resolve the issues the city believes it will have with traffic coming in and out of the complex.
“Traffic is going to be bad,” Eddy said. “But we didn’t have anything where we could stop the development.”
Dunkin’ Donuts has been eyeing the Gulf Breeze Proper area for several years now, but they have had back-and-forth issues with the city over development.
Back in late 2014, the company submitted a plan to the city’s Development and Architectural Review boards.
The biggest concern the city had at the time is whether or not the building’s architectural style would be in sync with the Community Redevelopment Area’s standards.
Sam Marshall Architects out of Pensacola was chosen at the developer for the project.
Later, traffic concerns surfaced at the already-busy Northcliff Dr. intersection.
“There’s going to be an entrance off Northcliff. We’re have a right-in, right-out off of Hwy. 98 (northbound) so you’ll be able to go past the Northcliff intersection and turn right into the strip center,” Eddy said. “And when you go around through the drive-in, you’re going to be able to turn right and go back out on (Hwy.) 98 without having to use Northcliff. And then on Northcliff itself, there will be a full entrance.”