Route 58 ‘Runs on Dunkin,’ it would seem.
In addition to the Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin’ Robbins store that’s been on Route 58 for years in the shopping center by the Roanoke Avenue traffic circle, two new Dunkin’ Donuts stores gained approvals from town officials over the past week.
The Riverhead Zoning Board of Appeals last Thursday approved Atlantis Management Group’s request to expand the BP gas station on the northwest corner of Route 58 and Osborn Avenue to build a new convenience store and two new gas pumps and canopies.
The new convenience store will have a Dunkin’ Donuts shop in it, but there will be no seating, according to Keith Brown, the applicant’s attorney. Atlantis Management Group is proposing a 1,025-square-foot addition to the 1,625-square-foot building that is there now.
This gas station has been around since 1940, he said, and formerly had service bays for car repairs.
The business no longer repairs cars.
“Gas stations and the entire gas retailing industry is undergoing a change in its business model,” Mr. Brown told the ZBA last week. “No longer is it capable of supporting a repairman to use the service bays. The service bays are very difficult to rent because there just aren’t servicemen working out of service bays at local gas stations anymore.
“The cost of the computer equipment needed to do the repairs is prohibitive, and most people are using dealerships to have their cars repaired. Quite frankly, statistics show that cars are lasting longer without repairs.”
The ZBA last Thursday also approved a series of variances for the Hess gas station near Tanger Outlets that allows it to have a freestanding sign to identify the Dunkin’s Donuts Express counter that opened last week in the station’s convenience store.
The sign also will identify as well the gas station and gas prices. The sign was permitted to be 22-feet high, instead of the 15 feet maximum permitted in the town code.
The ZBA unanimously approved both Dunkin’ Donuts proposals.
Atlantis Management Group will still need to come back to the ZBA for a variance for the Dunkin’ Donuts sign, and will need a special permit from the Town Board to expand the existing use, which doesn’t comply with zoning but is permitted because it existed before the town even had zoning.
“I don’t see any down side to this,” Supervisor Sean Walter said when the Town Board reviewed the application at Thursday morning’s work session.