Dunkin’ Donuts coming to Alabaster?

A developer has expressed interest in brining a Dunkin' Donuts location to a long-vacant piece of property near the intersection of U.S. 31 and Hillwood Lane in Alabaster. (Contributed)

A developer has expressed interest in brining a Dunkin’ Donuts location to a long-vacant piece of property near the intersection of U.S. 31 and Hillwood Lane in Alabaster. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

A developer is looking at the possibility of bringing a new Dunkin’ Donuts store to a long-vacant property off U.S. 31 in Alabaster, he said during a July 28 Alabaster Zoning Board of Adjustments meeting.

During the meeting, Sam Hakani and Scott Vaughn, an engineer with the Arrington Engineering company, presented proposed plans to bring the Dunkin’ Donuts location to 1446 First St. S., which is next to Shelby Motor Lodge near the intersection of Hillwood Lane and U.S. 31.

The property currently contains a former Taco Bell building, which has been vacant for several years. If Hakani, who also owns other Dunkin’ Donuts franchises in Alabama, moves forward with the project, he plans to demolish the current building on the property and construct a new building to house the doughnut shop.

During the July 28 meeting, the Zoning Board of Adjustments approved front setback and landscape variances to allow the project’s design phase to continue.

“It’s one of our possible sites,” Hakani said during a brief interview after the meeting, noting he is also looking at another possible site elsewhere in the city. “We’ve still got to go through the design phase. We’ll have a better idea (on a timeline) once we go through that design phase.”

According to preliminary engineering plans displayed during the Zoning Board of Adjustments meeting, the building would sit about 15 feet further back than the current building on the property, and would include parking areas on the Hillwood Lane side of the building and behind the building.

When the Taco Bell restaurant was open in the building currently on the property, the drive-through window was on the passenger side of most cars, and a basket system carried food orders from the drive-through window over the vehicle to the vehicle’s driver-side window.

The preliminary plans presented during the meeting included a new drive-through lane and window on the north side of the building near the Shelby Motor Lodge property.

If it opens, the Alabaster Dunkin’ Donuts store will be the restaurant’s second store in Shelby County after a location opened off Alabama 119 in Pelham in 2010.