When will Geneva's long unfinished Dunkin' open? Permit runs out soon
A controversial Dunkin' drive-through restaurant on Geneva's east side stands partially built and is advertising for employees.
But its construction permit expires next month, and the owner has not asked the city for an extension.
The special-use drive-through for Dunkin' -- formerly known as Dunkin' Donuts -- at 206 E. State St., Geneva, was approved in a split vote in November 2018. Aldermen voted 5-5, and Mayor Kevin Burns cast the tiebreaking vote.
In an email, Geneva spokesman Kevin Stahr stated the construction permit was issued on Aug. 15, 2019. The permit expires on Aug. 15.
Stahr's email stated that city officials have "requested the applicant provide justification for the holdup/delay in completing the project."
"The city reached out to the applicant July 8," Stahr's email stated. "The applicant has been informed the permit will expire this year if the remaining work is not completed. In order for the permit to be extended, the applicant must submit a request and justification in writing along with a detailed schedule addressing the outstanding items."
The extension request would have to be submitted to the city's building commissioner.
Despite the looming permit expiration, Burns said he expects the Dunkin' to open soon.
"There is no doubt that the avalanche of circumstances that have caused the delays in Dunkin' opening is frustrating to both the operator and the community," Burns said. "I have every confidence that Dunkin' will be open soon, and we will all be pleased with the results."
Raj Patel of The Hari Group in Naperville is the developer of the project. The phone number listed on the company's website is disconnected, and Patel did not respond to an email message.
The unfinished Dunkin' has a notice outside stating, "Now hiring. Opening soon."
Geneva aldermen had approved an incentive package of a $70,000 grant and sales tax rebate up to $102,000 for the Dunkin' restaurant.
Officials said the incentive is not payable until after the project receives a certificate of occupancy from the city.
"The incentive was structured as a reimbursement, and no public funds were advanced for the project," Stahr's email stated. "If the project is not completed, no incentive money will be paid to the applicant."
The Dunkin' property was sold to State Street Coffee LLC for $715,000 on March 21, 2019, according to Geneva Township Assessor property records.