The proposed Macomb location will be the fifth Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins franchise for Yonas Hagos, along with locations in Bloomington-Normal and Quincy.
Community Development Director Ray Heitner told the Macomb City Council, Monday night, that Hagos is about $50,000 short of the $1.4-million he needs to move the project forward.
Macomb aldermen discussed loaning the money to Hagos to pay for signage, with the city coming up with half and the Macomb Area Economic Development Corporation (MAEDCO) providing the other half. The proposed seven-year loan would have a 2.5% interest rate.
MAEDCO’s Executive Director Kim Pierce said the project has been in the works for several years and the investment will benefit the community and hopefully encourage other businesses to set up shop in town.
“We see this opportunity as a catalyst for some of the other projects we are working on and hoping to see some capital investments in the community,” Pierce said.
“We all know the state of Illinois’ budget, frankly doesn’t exist at the moment, which trickles down to each community in the state. So, we are not seeing a lot of big projects come our way. So this [national brand] project would definitely help us on that stratosphere as we try to attract more capital investments.”
The Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins announcement follows the departures of several national retailers from Macomb this year including JcPenney, K-Mart and Hallmark. Those decisions were made at the corporate level, with storefronts being closed nationwide.
The city and the MAEDCO board are each expected to decide on whether to offer the $50,000 loan in the next couple of weeks. Pierce said the closing date for the property is scheduled for mid-June and construction would immediately follow.
If all goes well, the Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins would open in late September.
Pierce said she is looking forward to the franchise bringing people to town.
“Frankly, a lot of people in the winter leave to go get ice cream from [outside] Macomb because it’s not available fresh serve,” Pierce said.
That's because the Dairy Queen located a couple blocks away on West Jackson and FYI, the frozen yogurt shop downtown, are both seasonal, opening only during the warmer months.