A Dunkin' doughnut and coffee shop has closed permanently after more than a half-century on Colorado Springs' west side, but an Arizona franchisee now plans to add at least three more area locations of the iconic brand.
The Dunkin' store at 806 W. Colorado Ave. was shuttered in September after franchisee JB Partners of suburban Phoenix said it couldn't find enough workers to staff the location, which had been open for 55 years. At the time, JB Partners said the location's closure was temporary.
But the franchisee recently shuttered the store permanently — deciding to consolidate operations and putting a greater emphasis on a nearby Dunkin' location that offers drive-thru service, said Alex Apodaca, JB Partners' chief operating officer.
Only three employees still worked at the Colorado Avenue location and were given the option to transfer to other stores, including 1609 S. Nevada Ave., Apodaca said. That location opened in 2018 with a drive-thru, which the Colorado Avenue store lacked.
JB Partners now is turning toward new Dunkin' locations and recently submitted a proposal to city planners for development of a roughly 2,300-square-foot store, with a drive-thru, at 1105 W. Garden of the Gods Road, west of Interstate 25 on the Springs' northwest side.
Dunkin', to be built on the south side of Garden of the Gods Road, would join Whataburger, the Texas-based hamburger chain that plans a restaurant next door.
JB Partners has been operating in the Springs for a decade, Apodaca said. "We've been trying to get on Garden of the Gods on the a.m. side of the road (to serve early morning commuters heading to jobs) and finally something came up and that whole redevelopment there is going to make it possible for us to finally get to one of the more populated streets in Colorado Springs."
The Dunkin' and Whataburger locations will headline a redevelopment project proposed along Garden of the Gods Road, between Buckingham Drive and Forrest Hill Road, by CenterPointe Development of Scottsdale, Ariz.
CenterPointe plans to demolish a former ANB Bank at the site along with two buildings that had been owned by Christian ministry Bibles for the World.
CenterPointe, through a limited liability company, paid $968,000 in July for the ANB Bank property, El Paso County land records show. In October, CenterPointe purchased the Bibles for the World property for $1.93 million.
Bibles for the World, meanwhile, plans to relocate in February to a small office building it purchased last month at 4775 Granby Circle, near 30th Street and Centennial Boulevard, said John Pudaite, the ministry's president and CEO.
JB Partners' proposal submitted to city officials for the Dunkin' store on Garden of the Gods Road shows the franchisee has targeted December 2022 for completion of the location.
Apodaca, however, said that location might be delayed until 2023; instead, JB Partners has two more Dunkin' stores in the pipeline that are more likely to open next year, he said.
The franchisee plans similar-sized Dunkin' stores northwest of Fillmore Street and Nevada Avenue, on the south edge of the Fillmore Marketplace shopping center that's been redeveloped, and another southwest of InterQuest and Voyager parkways in the north side InterQuest Commons retail complex.
"That town is booming like none other," Apodaca said of Colorado Springs. "We have been stagnant for so many years there because the opportunities haven't been there and developers are now excited about moving dirt. Obviously for us, being a legacy concept in that market for 50-plus years, we’re one of the first calls developers are making to lease land."
The locations at Fillmore and Nevada and in InterQuest could open in the fourth quarter of 2022, possibly as early as the third quarter, he said.
Their openings depend on the availability of construction materials and labor and getting contractors to commit to construction schedules, among other factors, Apodaca said.
Dunkin', the national brand formerly known as Dunkin' Donuts and founded in Massachusetts in 1950, serves doughnuts, bagels and muffins. It also has ramped up an emphasis on coffee and other beverages in recent years to compete with Starbucks and McDonald's, among others.
In addition to its Dunkin' on South Nevada Avenue, JB Partners has locations at 201 N. Circle Drive, 3230 Austin Bluffs Parkway, 6660 Delmonico Drive, 5915 Dublin Blvd. and its newest store at 2905 Hancock Expressway, which opened in late September.