Chris Dabros knows Dixie Highway in Lake Worth needs help, as sites there have sat empty or underdeveloped for a long time.
“In that area,” said Dabros, deputy director of the Lake Worth Community Redevelopment Agency, “we’ve lacked in new development.”
That is about to change as Dixie Capital Partners, a New York-based real estate firm, and the CRA are teaming up to build a new, $2 million Dunkin’ Donuts on 6th Avenue South and Dixie Highway.
The 1,400-square-foot space will be a drive-through facility. Construction is scheduled to start in the summer and should be completed by the end of the year, according to Vito Giannola, a Dixie Capital manager.
“We bought the property a little over a year ago and it was hard to figure out the best possible use for that corner, but we thought it would be good for a big, national tenant and Dunkin’ Donuts was interested in it,” Giannola said.
No one at Dunkin’ Donuts was available to speak.
“We expect to have an update in about a month,” said a Dunkin’ Brands company spokeswoman.
Giannola said the corner was key for Dunkin’ Donuts. “You have a gas station, a hamburger chain and you have Walgreens,” he said. “Dunkin’ Donuts thought that was the right corner.”
The company has another site west of Interstate 95 on 10th Avenue North.
Giannola said Dixie Capital paid $2 million for the site about a year ago. He added it will cost in excess of $2 million to build the new Dunkin’ Donuts.
About a year ago, Dabros said the developer came to the CRA to assemble the properties. The project encompasses three-quarters of an acre, he added. To get the project going, Dixie Capital had to assemble five different parcels.
“One of them was a city-owned parcel, so they needed help in acquiring it,” Dabros said. “The parcel is just west of where the Dunkin’ Donuts will be. We worked with the developer, the property owner and the city to acquire that piece of property.”
Dabros said Dixie Capital paid $125,000 for the property.
“We’re taking a property that has been underutilized – it sat vacant the past 10, 15 years,” Dabros said. “Now we’re getting it back on the tax rolls by getting it developed. Part of the project includes the demolition of two existing buildings that have been boarded up for many years.”
Dunkin’ Donuts, Giannola said, is the first phase of the project. “The plan is to find other opportunities in Lake Worth,” he said. “We’ll demolish the houses that were there, and we will be looking for a potential commercial tenant by early next year. We want to develop that whole corner.”
Dabros said the project will create new jobs in an area that desperately needs them. “Dixie Highway is an area we’re focused on right now,” he said.