September 16, 2008

Fast food purveyors may move on mall site

Reporter Jackie Majerus wrote this story:

The Dunkin' Donuts and McDonalds restaurants on the former downtown mall site may both end up on the north end of the property, where Dunkin' Donuts is now, a development official said.
Frank Johnson, chairman of the Bristol Downtown Development Corp., said all the parties involved in both restaurants are interested in reconfiguring their businesses.
"Both McDonalds and Dunkin' Donuts have been under pressure from their corporations to remodel their stores," said Johnson, but he said the operators have been hesitant, wanting to first find out what happens with downtown.
The BDDC has oversight of the now-vacant, 17-acre former mall site, and city councilors recently decided that the non-profit board should also do the negotiating with Dunkin' Donuts and McDonalds.
Johnson said the BDDC would like to work with Dunkin' Donuts, but must work with McDonalds.
"McDonalds, right now, sits plunk in the middle of the 17 acres and owns its own land," said Johnson.
Johnson said that while the popular grocery store Discount Food Outlet is also on that end of the former mall site, he believes it would be possible to fit the McDonalds in between the Dunkin' Donuts and the DFO.
BDDC board members decided to invite representatives from both McDonalds and Dunkin' Donuts to an upcoming meeting to discuss possible plans to "relocate or co-locate" in the Dunkin' Donuts end of the parcel, which is at the corner of Center Street and North Main Street.
"I think they should come in," said BDDC board member John Lodovico.
Another board member, Dick Kallenbach, suggested the BDDC skirt Freedom of Information laws by having representatives from the BDDC and the restaurants meet behind closed doors.
Kallenbach said if they did that, it wouldn't be "a legal meeting, per se, under FOI."
But David Sheridan, the BDDC's attorney, said appointing people to meet would constitute a sub-committee, which would be subject to FOI laws because they would be conducting board business.
"FOI is bad enough, in my opinion," said Kallenbach.
Johnson said they should just invite McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts to the meeting and see if they want to come, and other board members agreed.
"They know what they want to do," said Dick Harrall, executive director of the BDDC, about the restaurant operators.
It's important to work with them, Johnson said, but he said it would be helpful to get the McDonalds out of the way, clearing the large end of the parcel for future development."You certainly don't want to build your development around Dunkin' Donuts and McDonalds," Johnson said.
Negotiations will likely involve many parties, according to Johnson, because the Dunkin' Donuts representatives will include the land owner, the franchise owner and the corporation and the McDonalds will involve the local operator and the corporation.
"They are both long overdue for an upgrade," said Johnson.
Board members said they understood why the restaurants want to upgrade, but also why they might be holding back.
"We're not moving as fast as we'd like to move," said Lodovico.

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at


Anonymous said...

Westfarms has Macy's, Norstroms, Jacque Penne', the Olive Garden and CPK. Bristol gets Micky D's, DD and CVS.

Bring back OSJL!

Anonymous said...

I'm hungry

Anonymous said...

Riveting developments!

Anonymous said...

should be a "dining out" experience....

Anonymous said...

Lets just build a duplicate of Quincy Market (Boston) and see how it turns out. LOL

Anonymous said...

Drive thrus DO NOT make for a pedestrian friendly environment.

Anonymous said...

Remember, Frank Johnson was Nicastos appointment to the BDC.

Anonymous said...

"Westfarms has Macy's, Norstroms, Jacque Penne', the Olive Garden and CPK. Bristol gets Micky D's, DD and CVS."

And if you think any real development will happen in downtown Bristol, you're crazy. The demographics just aren't there to support it.

Anonymous said...

September 17, 2008 10:46 AM:

I agree, and I've been saying the same thing all along. It's just too bad the Democrats had to waste $10 million of the taxpayer's money to learn this.

Time to clean house in 2009.

September 16, 2008 9:49 PM

Anonymous said...

Dunkin and McDonalds ain't leaving downtown, no way, no how!!

But Frank will give them whatever they want.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Stortz wasn't so bad after all.

Anonymous said...

Stortz was a complete idiot!

If it weren't for him we woudl have a field house down town that would have been run by the Boys and Girls Club, with extra funds coming in b/c the Boys Club was associated with the project. This would have given critical mass to the downtown and peripheral businesses already would have started moving in.

Stortz was a fearmonger, taking advantage of senior citizens and their fears about their taxes gong up. All the naysayers about this piece of property should be second guessing themselves now. Put a school down there?!?!? What a load of crap! One of the main arguments against the club was that it would attract kids to down town, which is what businesses don't want. Now people are talking about putting 900 kids down there 5 days per week. Talk about hypocritical. I know some people say we have to move and can't wait any longer, but just think where we would be with the original plan.

Stortz was the worst thing that ever happened to this city. He was a do nothing mayor!

Anonymous said...

Clearly the people did not want the original plan. It would have been an economic drain.
They voted Stortz in overwhelminly in an effort to stop it.

Only a few people seem to support a school downtown because they are panicking because the lot is empty.

Being involved I know that Stortz got many things done, but his downfall was that he did not play politics and did not grandstand.

Anonymous said...

Stortz should have and would have been elected if he chose to run.

But the power brokers made sure he didn't.

Anonymous said...

Stortz was a good mayor. If you think you can do better than Stortz or Ward, throw your hat in the ring for 2009. Why not? Don't you want a round-the-clock job, working your butt off and constantly getting criticized by know-nothings?

Anonymous said...

I'm not a Stortz fan as a matter of fact he was the worst Mayor this city ever had. Having said that this problem with Downtown is not his fault.

What is more distrubing about this article is the comments made by Stortz's appointment to the BDDC, Kallebach. This moron needs to go back to Plymouth and get the hell out of Bristol quickly.

Steve, how did Jackie sit there and listen to his FOI diatribe with a straight face. A Commissioner ho sits in public and tries to find ways to skirt the FOI process?

This is how the mall boondoggle happened under Couture. HE and Deputy Mayor Ward along with Diamantis held these secret meetings and we brought the mall property in the middle of the night with no public input.

Ward needs to remove Kallenbach with cause now! We do not need this moron doing pubic business in private and he has no business on this board.

Until he is removed Steve and Jackie, please watch this board. It smells funny.

Kallenbach: Boot Him.

Anonymous said...

Stortz did not appoint YES men (or women).

Maybe a political fault of his, but if the mayor is going to control appointees actions, why appoint anyone?

As Townsend said: "If both of us think alike, only one of us is necessary".

Anonymous said...

Kallenbach needs to go.


Anonymous said...

it is useless land with the surrounding area run down with less than desirable living areas. no business with a plan to succeed would enter that area. dig it up and put in a park. that is the most usefull thing for that area.