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East County Wednesday, Jul. 18, 2018 1 year ago

Lakewood Ranch area growth sprinkled with donut shop

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Dunkin' Donuts headed to State Road 64 at Upper Manatee Road intersection.
by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

Developers have something brewing for the north side of State Road 64 at Upper Manatee River Road.

And it goes great with coffee.

Clearwater’s Epic Development has secured Dunkin’ Donuts as a tenant for a multitenant building to be constructed immediately east of the Walgreens, at the northeast corner of the State Road 64 and Upper Manatee River Road.

“The immediate demographic characteristics, tremendous growth and the corresponding traffic counts point to a successful business opportunity,” said Andrew Hupp, managing member Clearwater-based Epic Development, which is developing the site.

The Dunkin’ Donuts will be paired with another business yet to be named. Hupp said a future tenant for the remaining 2,400-square-foot space would offer synergy with the Walgreens and doughnut shop.

The project cleared its first hurdle July 12, earning a recommendation for approval by the Manatee County Planning Commission. The plan will be considered for approval by county commissioners next month.

Project representative Bob Schmitt said the land has been zoned commercial for 28 years.

The site had previously been approved for a bank, but the approval expired.

On the opposite corner to the west, Warner Crossing LLC is in its early stages of developing a future commercial node. There, a Wawa gas station, which is expected to open in the fall, is under construction.

Engineer Denise Greer, of King Engineering, said there are four other lots along S.R. 64 and Upper Manatee that are ready for development on about 9 acres, but tenants have not been identified. Each of those properties is about 1 acre in size and could accommodate uses such as fast-food restaurants, a drug store or tire store.

The balance of the property, north of Wawa, is about 15 acres. Greer said there are no specific plans for that land at this time. The property is not part of the Warner Crossing development proposal.

The S.R. 64 and Upper Manatee River Road intersection has drawn the interest of businesses following the opening of the Fort Hamer Bridge in October, effectively bringing more traffic through the corridor.

Also, new communities, such as the 159-home Copperlefe development and a planned 1,400-home development by Medallion Home, are in the works along Upper Manatee River Road.

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