ast-food seekers in Brimfield Township won’t have to look far for its newest McDonald’s.
It’s being built diagonally to the current McDonald’s structure.
The current McDonald’s has been tucked behind a Speedway station on state Route 43 since 1985. Rubber City McDonald’s owner/operator John Blickle said he always knew it was a bad location for access to and from the main road.
“It’s been awful. It’s too close to the interchange [with Interstate 76]. Secondly, it didn’t have a traffic light,” said Blickle, which made it hard for motorists to exit the McDonald’s onto Route 43.
So Rubber City McDonald’s and Akron-based commercial real estate developer the Schipper Group swapped land. McDonald’s would build on 1.5 acres a few hundred feet away and fronting Route 43 at a traffic light and the Schipper Group would take its 3.5 acres and add it to its 40-plus acres in its new Brimfield Crossings retail and office development.
Construction began about two weeks ago on the new McDonald’s. It will be the newest McDonald’s style and open about June 15, said Blickle.
The new McDonald’s will be built while the existing building remains open. There will be about a two-week period before the new building opens when neither building will be open. Then the old building will be demolished, said Blickle.
The corners of the two properties meet and there is probably 300 to 400 feet from the center of one McDonald’s to the center of the new building, said David Schipper of the Schipper Group, which owns and operates several properties in the area, including the AES building in downtown Akron.
The McDonald’s is the first property in the new complex, but he hopes it will develop some momentum.
Another advantage for Blickle and Schipper is that a large hill along the exit ramp from I-76 hindered sight lines to the old McDonald’s and now the new Brimfield Crossings development. Recently, crews leveled much of the hill.
“By taking that hill down, it opens up another usable acre,” said Schipper. “It would be a great site for a hotel or a grocery store or an auto dealership with frontage right on the ramp. For the other remaining acres, I’d love to see some kind of a regional facility there. It could be a medical type of thing or a large office building.”
Schipper said there could be some small retail, but with the recent development of retail, including Walmart and Kohl’s off the next exit in Brimfield Township, he doesn’t think the area can accommodate more.
The access road currently used to get to the Speedway and McDonald’s will remain open, but will be an entry way only and will eventually only be allowed for right turns in and right turns out. Drivers will have to go through the Brimfield Crossings development to exit at the traffic light to turn left toward the interstate and Kent, he said.
The traffic light currently at Brimfield Crossings Drive is a caution blinker now, but as traffic builds, it will get changed, he said.
The Brimfield McDonald’s will cost about $2.5 million, said Blickle.
No other renovations or rebuilds are slated for 2013, said Blickle. The Graham Road McDonald’s on the Cuyahoga Falls/Stow border opened in December.
Blickle estimates that he has spent $20 million in renovations, rebuilds and new product lines for his properties since he took over the organization in 2007.
The South Main Street McDonald’s plans have been delayed. Looking ahead, there will be more renovations for Rubber City McDonald’s 20 properties, including ones that have already undergone renovations, said Blickle.
“There’s always a gleam in McDonald’s eye. They would like us to slowly transform our other stores into the new look, like our Wallhaven [West Akron property]. That requires tearing down and starting all over. I don’t see anything happening in 2013 or 2014.”