Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Here They Grow Again! McDonald's Breaking Ground Around Atlanta

Site of new McDonald's on North Druid Hills road near entrance to I-85 south
Oak Brook, Illinois-based McDonald's has a number of new locations in the works around Atlanta.  Here's a recap of what's going on in the metro.

McDonald's is opening a second location on North Druid Hills Road near I-85, this one closest to the highway's southbound entrance.  The fast food behemoth has an existing and recently renovated location already open on North Druid Hills near Executive Park, close to the entrance to I-85 north.  The new restaurant is being built on land that was until last week home to the vacant Atlanta Diner.  Early on, there was speculation that this restaurant would be drive-thru only, but based on signage on location displaying a dining room and interior seating, that may have been wrong.  There is no doubt that this McDonald's will be on the small side, as I've confirmed the restaurant will only have sixteen parking spaces.  Demolition appeared to be complete as of Sunday, so knowing how fast the Golden Arches can be, I'd say this restaurant could be open as soon as late July or early August.    

It seems like McDonald's is adopting an old Waffle House approach of having locations on both sides of a highway exit to cover all their bases and gather more of the market.  

McDonald's plans to open a new restaurant in place of an existing, but vacant, mini shopping center at 3885 Buford Highway and 3316 Clairmont Road.  The restaurant would replace an existing but old and never remodeled McDonald's about three tenths of a mile away at 3795 Buford Highway.  The vacant shopping center once housed the original Book Nook before they moved to their current home on North Druid Hills Road near Clairmont.  The center was also home to a once popular package store, laundromat and a host of other businesses.  For a short time last year, a sketchy thrift store operated out of the former package store.  

The trick with this location is that it was proposed and approved last year while it was just in DeKalb County.  A land use permit was applied for this past October and approved in January.  In mid-December, however, the shopping center became part of the new City of Brookhaven, and therefore a City of Brookhaven building permit must be applied for by McDonald's. I called the City of Brookhaven but as of this morning had not heard back.  

I know of no clear reason that would prevent the building permit from being issued but then again, things seem less than clear and concise when dealing with a young city.  

McDonald's is no longer planning a new location on Clairmont Road near the new QuikTrip at Briarcliff and Clairmont Roads.  McDonald's proposed building a new restaurant in place of a doctors' office but its location across the street from a fire station proved too significant of a challenge.   

McDonald's is currently constructing a new restaurant on Buford Highway at McElroy Road in Doraville.  The new restaurant replaces what had been a freestanding bank in an outparcel of what had been a Value City and is now a Burlington Coat Factory.  The new restaurant is scheduled to open in late June.  

In other McDonald's news, a location at 6360 Powers Ferry Road in Sandy Springs recently celebrated its grand re-opening while a new, modern McDonald's opened in place of its character packed retro predecessor at Collier and Howell Mill Roads on the westside.  

Among the big three (McDonald's, Wendy's and Burger King), which your favorite?  Which has the best fries?  Which has the best desserts?  Why?  Please share your thoughts below.  

For those who are interested : Yesterday's closing stock price for each company -->

Burger King (BKW) $18.31 / +11.37% YTD
McDonald's (MCD) $99.32 / +12.59% YTD
Wendy's (WEN) $5.42 / +15.32% YTD


Anonymous said...

I prefer Wendy's for fries and shakes (the Frosty!), but McDonalds for convenience and affordability.

Is the new Druid Hills location owned by the same company as the old location on the other side of I-85, or is it a competing franchise?

Lee at rootsinalpharetta.com said...

The McDonalds on Peachtree Parkway and McGinnis Ferry (Suwanee address, south Forsyth/Johns Creek) is renovating. Not sure of the scope of the work but I believe it involves the drive-thru lanes somehow. Whatever it is, they are pouring more money into the business.

Anonymous said...

You call the new McDonald's on Howell Mill & Collier "modern". I call it a disaster. It is ugly, plus I don't want to eat anywhere that I don't have any idea who or what is cooking behind windowless walls.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 8:43 --- Do you ever eat at sit down restaurants?

IT's not like they parade the cooks thru the dining area at 90% of other places. And it's McDonalds... they're not "cooking" much of anything.

Disneypal said...

I've been wondering what was being built on Buford Hwy by Burlington Coat Factory. So glad that it is a McDonald's - that area use to be a thriving area, with many fast food places and stores. McDs is a welcomed addition.

mindspringyahoo said...

Not far from the Doraville McDonald's, a new Zaxby's is going into the former Krystal turned 'Frenchs Boots' spot on Buhi, just barely OTP.

Anonymous said...

Re: Clairmont and Buford -- Is anything else going in that space? Seems too big to be just for a McDonalds.

Anonymous said...

Don't understand why McDonalds wants to be there. More bad food? Bad service?

David Ritsch said...

You guys should have Corporate or your GCs call me about your permitting woes. I am owner/operator of Stay on Schedule Commercial permitting service. I just finished 3 Burger King full upfit permits in Dekalb this week, one of them actually, on North Druid Hills also. Food service is a specialty of mine and I have much experience in the Southeast with these types of occupancies