Drive-Thru Rejection Sidelines Dunkin' Donuts
Monday, July 2, 2018 8:00 AM

What architects say the building will look like from Larpenteur (however, there is an apartment building, not blue sky, behing the building).

City rejection of a drive-thru has put a proposed Dunkin' Donuts at Hamline and Larpenteur on hold. Developer Lee Sarin says he is now trying to rework the development into a larger, multi-tenant space.

In March 2018, Sarin proposed acquring and tearing down the existing Mac's Fish/Chips/Strips and Midtown Cleaners and replacing them with a new building on the southeast corner of the intersection that would house a Dunkin' Donuts and a new Mac's. The plans included a drive-thru lane for Dunkin' Donuts, which under Saint Paul's zoning code automatically requires a conditional-use permit. The city's Board of Zoning Appeals and Planning Commision both voted unanimously against the conditional-use permit. The city agencies, nearby residents, and District 10's Land Use Committee all expressed concerns about the impact the drive-thru would have on traffic gridlock on Hamline Ave.

Architectural drawings for the original project proposed a roughly 3,200-square-foot, side-by-side building with connected storefronts for Mac's and Dunkin' Donuts. The building would have faced Larpenteur, with parking on the south end of the lot (where Midtown Cleaners is now). Without the drive-thru, Sarin tells District 10, he will need to expand the building and seek one or two additional tenants to make finances work. 

Originally published March 15, 2018. Updated July 20, 2018


District 10 Como Community Council | 1224 Lexington Pkwy N, Saint Paul, MN 55103 | 651.644.3889 | district10 [at]

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