GENEVA – A controversial Dunkin’ drive-thru restaurant on Geneva’s east side stands partially built and advertises for employees, yet its construction permit expires in a month and the owner has not asked the city for an extension.
The special use drive-thru for Dunkin’ – formerly known as Dunkin’ Donuts – at 206 E. State St., Geneva, was approved in a split vote in November 2018, with aldermen voting 5-5 and Mayor Kevin Burns casting the tie-breaking vote to approve it.
In an email, Geneva spokesman Kevin Stahr stated the construction permit was issued Aug. 15, 2019 and expires Aug. 15, 2021.
Stahr’s email stated that city officials have “requested the applicant provide justification for the holdup/delay in completing the project.”
“The city reached out to the applicant July 8,” Stahr’s email stated. “The applicant has been informed the permit will expire this year if the remaining work is not completed. In order for the permit to be extended, the applicant must submit a request and justification in writing along with a detailed schedule addressing the outstanding items.”
The request to extend the construction permit would have to be submitted to the city’s building commissioner, who would be the one to approve the request, according to Stahr’s email.
Despite the looming permit expiration, Burns said he expects the Dunkin’ to open soon.
“There is no doubt that the avalanche of circumstances that have caused the delays in Dunkin’ opening is frustrating to both the operator and the community,” Burns said. “I have every confidence that Dunkin’ will be open soon and we will all be pleased with the results.”
Raj Patel of The Hari Group in Naperville is the developer for the Dunkin’ in Geneva. The phone number listed on its website is disconnected and Patel did not respond to an email message.
According to its website, theharigroup.com, the company was founded in 2011, specializes in franchising, investment and real estate and has 40 franchise locations in three states, including other brands such as Baskin Robbins, Tide Dry Cleaners, McAlister’s Deli, Buffalo Wings and Rings and Tilted Kilt.
The unfinished Dunkin’ has a notice outside stating, “Now hiring. Opening soon. Text 847-903-7502 mornings and afternoons.”
A voicemail and text message to that phone number were not immediately returned.
Geneva aldermen had also approved an incentive package of $70,000 grant and sales tax rebate up to $102,000 for the Dunkin’ restaurant.
The economic development incentive is not payable until after the project receives a certificate of occupancy from the city, Stahr’s email stated.
“The incentive was structured as a reimbursement, and no public funds were advanced for the project. If the project is not completed, no incentive money will be paid to the applicant,” Stahr’s email stated.
The Dunkin’ property was sold to State Street Coffee LLC for $715,000 on March 21, 2019, according to Geneva Township Assessor property records.