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October 14, 2011 – 2:57 pm | No Comment

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Is Dunkin Donuts coming to Montrose?

Submitted by Alex_Wukman on October 14, 2011 – 3:30 pm2 Comments
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Will this become commonplace in the 'Trose?

By Alex Wukman

A rumor has begun circulating around that the former Galerie Mado Chalvet building, which was severely damaged in July by a fire that the Houston Fire Department considered “suspicious”, will be torn down and replaced with a Dunkin Donuts. While it’s no secret that Dunkin Donuts is looking to expand, in 2008 it was reported that they plan on opening 107 stores in Houston alone and they raised $423 million when they went public this summer to finance expansion, the idea of a Dunkin Donuts moving next door to Montrose stalwarts like Agora and Empire worries some of the neighborhood regulars.

Coffee shop denizens fret that Dunkin Donuts moving into the ‘Gayberhood’ might somehow change the very nature of the community. There also is some concern that because 60 percent of Dunkin’s sales are coffee it could damage the bottom line of beloved community institutions like Brazil. Of course there is another side to the story. Mere days after the suspicious fire-the building had been vacant for about six weeks and there was no electricity to the structure-Jed Mandel from Edge Realty said that property owners SFT Investments already had plans to completely redevelop Galerie Mado Chalvet building and the adjacent antique store, both of which they own.

According to a statement Mandel made in July SFT Investments is looking to turn the two properties they own at the corner of Westheimer and Dunlavy into a multi-tenant commercial development with enough parking for retail. Despite signs identifying Edge Realty as the agency representing the property the Galerie Mado Chalvet building, located at 1706 Westheimer, doesn’t appear on a map of Edge Realty’s Houston properties.  Attempts to contact representatives from Edge Realty to discuss plans for the intersection of Westheimer and Dunlavy were made, they were unreturned.

If, or when, someone from Edge Realty does get back we will update this post; in the meantime it is worth remembering that while an abandoned building on Westheimer is a great place to exhibit wheat-paste and stencil artwork, it doesn’t contribute much revenue to the community.

Update 5:00 p.m.: Jed Mandel responded to FPH’s inquiries with an e-mail stating “I do not have any information regarding the rumor that you are writing about.  All I can say is that it is the first that I have heard of it.  Josh Jacobs and I are assisting the owner with the redevelopment of that property.”

2 Comments »

  • dutch small says:

    There is no point in being maudlin about this. Montrose is dead. I’d rather they put a Dunkin Donuts there than another bar to attract the Washington folks.

  • RamonLP4 says:

    Dude, there was a Dunkin Donuts on Shepherd for years between Richmond and Alabama back when Montrose much much less gentrified and suburban. I’m talkin’ the 80’s and the 90’s. Can’t recall when it closed shop but it never had any impact on coffee shops because of one simple fact - nobody wants to hang out at a donut shop. It’s grab and go stuff. Even Shipley’s is the same way.

    So yeah there was one in the ‘Trose back when the ‘Trose was much less tame, bringing one back would hardly make it more yuppified than it already is, and its impact on the local coffe shops will be nil. So, I give it a big shrug.

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