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Planning commission to review plans for retail center

The Dunkin Donuts shop on Foster Avenue in Crafton opened in the past year and would be a mirror image of what would be built in Carnegie. Randy Jarosz |For The Signal Item

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By Jeff Widmer
Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012, 2:15 p.m.

There is still talk of a Dunkin Donuts coming to Carnegie.

When that will happen, however, is not known.

What else will be included in a business strip mall at the corner of Mansfield Boulevard and Chestnut Street also remains a question.

One thing is certain: Carnegie Borough Council President Rick D'Loss and the rest of council recently saw preliminary drawings of what may eventually be built at the site of the former North Star Chevrolet.

The preliminary plans call for an 1,800-square-foot Dunkin Donuts, with a 7,000-square-foot retail center, said Scott Luedtke of Heartland Restaurant Group, which owns all of the Dunkin franchises in western Pennsylvania. About 46 parking spaces would be provided there, Luedtke said.

Officials from Heartland are scheduled to present the preliminary plans to the Carnegie Planning Commission Sept. 25; the plans need to be approved by the planning commission before they move on to borough council.

From what council has seen so far, the drawings may need to be revised, D'Loss said.

Gateway Engineering, the borough's engineering firm, was not happy with the drive-thru that emptied onto Chestnut Street, D'Loss said.

“They think this is questionable. It may not be approved by the planning commission,” D'Loss said. PennDOT also would have to approve this; if the state does not, Heartland would have to “start from scratch” and submit new drawings to the borough.

Whatever happens, the Dunkin Donuts will not arrive this year. Demolitions have not begun, and the soil underneath the former car garage there may need to be tested after 40 years of car maintenance, D'Loss said.

“I can't imagine them getting the doughnut shop open before mid-summer or perhaps fall of next year,” D'Loss said.

Four tenants are included in the preliminary plans; this includes Dunkin Donuts, D'Loss said.

The Dunkin Donuts would be located not far from the Interstate 376 interchange. That former Chevrolet property has been vacant for several years.

“(Heartland) likes the Carnegie location a lot. The Carnegie location allows them quick access to the freeway, which means it's easier to get all of their other stores,” D'Loss said.

In the past two years, businesses have been making Carnegie their home. Two summers ago, Bob's Diner on Mansfield Boulevard opened; also, Captain Clothing and CVS moved to Carnegie from Robinson and Scott, respectively.

Earlier this month, it was announced that a national fast-food chain is interested in purchasing the parking lot property at Family Dollar.

Borough council and Manager Jeff Harbin will not say what chain it is, only to say it is very popular and has been around for decades.

The appraisal amount of that property is $286,000; the borough is asking $349,000 for it.

All bids for that property are due by Oct. 2.

Jeff Widmer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5810 or

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