McDonald’s demolished: Middlebury restaurant scheduled to be rebuilt in 90 days

MIDDLEBURY — After more than a year and a half of planning and permit deliberations, the McDonald’s Restaurant on Route 7 in Middlebury closed last Wednesday for demolition and rebuilding.
Dennis Hunt, president of Hunt Companies Inc., was onsite on Tuesday to oversee the building’s demolition. He said that demolition, reconstruction and preparation for the restaurant’s reopening are scheduled to take about 90 days.
Plans call for a new building of identical size — 3,900 square feet — to be built further south on the same property, which will consolidate all parking to the north side of the building and allow for an increase of green space on the property.
The work on the new building comes at the end of a long series of Development Review Board proceedings, which began when the McDonald’s Corp. applied for permission to replace the then 25-year-old building in February 2009.
During months of deliberation, the DRB questioned plans to add a long yellow “swoosh” on the roof of the restaurant. In its final Oct. 7, 2009, decision, the DRB deemed the swoosh to be excessive signage because of its yellow color and its similarity to the swoosh logo on the restaurant’s coffee cups. Still, the DRB made an exception to the town’s sign statutes, agreeing to allow McDonald’s Corp. two flat signs of no more than 80 square feet — town statutes state that signage is limited to 50 square feet.
Though McDonald’s appealed the decision, the DRB denied the appeal, and McDonald’s went forward with the plans as the DRB had stated.
Hunt, the contractor, said that one of the changes to the property would be an additional order lane in the drive-through area, which he said was planned in order to decrease congestion in the parking lot.
The new building will also make use of LED lighting technology for its signs, and LED and fluorescent lighting with automatic timer controls in the interior of the restaurant, which Hunt said would be a significant improvement over the old building’s systems. This, combined with new efficient equipment, will greatly increase the restaurant’s energy efficiency, he added.
Hunt said the new building would also be brought up to the standards required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Hunt estimated that about 95 percent of his Argyle, N.Y.-based company’s work is done for the McDonald’s Corp. But, he said, he employs local contractors and buys local materials as much as possible. He estimated that each project puts about $900,000 into the local economy in the areas where his Hunt Companies works.
Hunt said that he and his company is not related to Myron M. Hunt Inc., owner of The Centre shopping plaza on which McDonald’s sits.
Final opening dates will be released closer to the time of the restaurant’s reopening.
Reporter Andrea Suozzo is at [email protected].

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