Construction Zone: McDonald’s RestaurantA new McDonald’s Restaurant is under construction at 21st Avenue East and London Road in Duluth.
What: McDonald’s Restaurant
Where: London Road and 21st Ave-nue East
Project: The old McDonald’s building was razed in July and a new one is being built as part of McDonald’s massive rebranding effort to create a new, upscale contemporary image. It will be the first McDonald’s of its kind in Duluth.
Finished look: The new restaurant will have a hip, contemporary style with muted colors, a lounge area, counter and booths with flat screen TV showing cable news and free WiFi to appeal to young people and encourage people to linger. The exterior is brick and stucco with a flat roof.
Timeline: Construction began in July and is expected to be completed in October. The restaurant is expected to reopen around Nov. 1 with 70 employees, 15 more than before.
Project status: Large boulders that anchored the steep slope facing London Road have been replaced by a tall retaining wall that increases the parking lot space. The building framework and walls went up in the last couple of weeks.
General contractor: Nor-Son Inc. of Baxter, Minn.
Of special note: The new restaurant is set back farther then the old building was to allow traffic flow around the building, including two drive-through order windows and easier exits.
“It’s going to be more user-friendly to our customers,” said Mike Nagan, McDonald’s Duluth-area supervisor.
Pine tree controversy: Residents of a neighboring apartment building complained about the removal of a line of tall ponderosa pines that served as a buffer against the commotion of the 24-hour restaurant.
Nagan said the expansion of the parking lot would have disturbed the trees, and power lines running through there were problematic.
“The project isn’t finished,” he said. “We will replace every tree that came down. We will do landscaping. I think people will be very pleased with how things turn out.”
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