Developer: Marathon Dunkin' Donuts will open, after all [Florida Keys Keynoter, (Marathon, Fla.)]By Ryan McCarthy, Florida Keys Keynoter, (Marathon, Fla.)McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
Oct. 27--It appears Texas-based oil giant Valero Energy Corp. isn't letting one of Marathon's newest buildings stay vacant for long.
Several sources confirmed Wednesday that Valero has taken over plans for and is slated to open a planned gas station and Dunkin' Donuts between 73rd and 74th streets on U.S. 1 within three weeks. Many people have wondered what the status of the new, but empty, building is considering it was supposed to open in the summer.
Valero reportedly is taking the project over from the bankrupt Miami-based Sands Petroleum, which owes more than $5.6 million to Valero for two planned gas stations, the one in Marathon and another in West Palm Beach.
Miami-based contractor Bill Evans was contracted to build both stations and subcontracted with many others in both locations. Many have not been paid, and Valero on Sept. 28 offered to "settle" numerous liens by paying a portion of what they're owed.
"I'm meeting down there with the people from Valero...," Evans said Wednesday. "They want to try to have the place up and running in two weeks. They're probably going to start on Monday getting the landscaping done."
Evans added that he'll "just basically be cleaning up and setting up all the points of sale," and that dumpsters on the property will be removed and foot-high grass mowed. City Planning Director George Garrett said the mowing would resolve an outstanding code violation.
Garrett said the store has already been issued a certificate of occupancy and that the liens would not stop it from opening.
"If [the city] put a lien on a property, then there's absolutely a problem. We don't typically look at liens from other people. We don't know they're there so we would probably issue a permit," he said.
Former Sands employee Mikel Isaac, who dealt with the city in planning the project, said he's been told Valero plans to open three weeks from Monday.
"They're going to start possibly Monday doing some prep work. Valero contacted me to finish these projects," he said, referring to Marathon and West Palm.
Valero spokesman Bill Day would not confirm the plans in an e-mail response to the Keynoter. "I'm still waiting on information. I don't have an update yet," he wrote.
The City Council gave final approval to the project last September. It includes the Dunkin' Donuts, with a drive-through and five fuel bays with 14 pumps.
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