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Business Briefs: Dunkin Donuts Receives Early Approval for Woodward Store

Also happening in town: First Preferred Mortgage Company sets up office in Birmingham's Rail District.

Here's a snapshot of what's going on in the Birmingham business community this week:

Drive-thru eliminated in new plans for Dunkin Donuts, Baskin Robbins

Dunkin Donuts and Baskin Robbins took the next step toward moving to Birmingham last week, receiving approval of their preliminary site plans for the empty space at 33779 and 33757 Woodward Ave.

The new doughnut shop and Baskin Robbins ice cream parlor would be moving into the former location of Bordine's on Woodward, . The current site is comprised of a greenhouse structure, a parking lot in the rear and a brick building on the corner of Humphrey and Woodward.

The project is currently led by Duane Barbat, CEO of Coffee Enterprises, one of the largest Dunkin Donuts franchisees in Michigan. Barbat said he's working with Ron & Roman Architects to develop the plans, which involve demolishing the existing greenhouse and constructing a new multi-tenant, one-story retail building.

The original plans also included a drive-thru — the biggest sticking point for Planning Board members during the .

Members of that board and the were worried cars waiting for the drive-thru would block an alley between Humphrey and Bennaville, as well as require the elimination of several parking spots along Woodward.

New plans presented on Aug. 22 got rid of the drive-thru, sending the plans sailing through the board's approval process. Without the drive-thru, Barbat now has no need to obtain a Special Land Use Permit, thus making City Commission approval unncessary.

Before moving forward, Barbat must first address several outstanding design issues and then return to the Planning Board for final site plan approval.

Mortgage company opens its doors in the Rail District

First Preferred Mortgage Company, a Port Huron-based residential mortgage bank, has opened a new office in Birmingham at 2151 Cole St.

First Preferred Mortgage's new Birmingham location — located in the city's Rail District — is the company's fourth community location to be added in 2012, with even more branch openings scheduled this year. So far, Vice President of Retail Mortgage Dan Sugg said the company has hired 200 new employees this year.

The Birmingham offie is led by Chris Newberry and Luke Marton, both of whom have worked in the mortgage industry for more than 15 years.

The office's modern design matches the aethetics of Birmingham's industrial Rail District, featuring a garage door that opens to the outside, trees growing out of the concrete floors, an indoor pond, cedar wood accents and a Harley Davidson motorcycle on display.

"We believe that buying a home is one of the most important decisions families make, so having community-focused branch locations, like our Birmingham office, is the best way to get to know community members, keenly understand their needs and offer personalized service," said Sugg.

Bank of Birmingham now offering equipment leasing

has announced that it is now offering equipment lease financing, allowing companies to get the equipment they need to grow their business.

According to Rob Farr, president and chief executive officer of Bank of Birmingham, the bank will now finance most equipment types including manufacturing, construction and transportation equipment. Lease structures include finance leases, discounted leases, warehouse lines of credit and vendor programs.

"We are proud to be one of the first community banks to offer this important form of business financing," said Farr. "At Bank of Birmingham, we continue to identify additional services to meet the growing needs of our customers — both commercial and consumer."

Robert Leanard will serve as the new executive vice president of the Equipment Leasing Division.

Upcoming Events:

  • Back to School Breakfast: 8-9:30 a.m. Aug. 29,
  • Vine and Dine: 6-9 p.m. Sept. 5,
  • Ribbon-cutting: 4-5 p.m. Sept. 12, SVS Vision Optique (6602 Telegraph in Bloomfield Township)
  • Ribbon-cutting: 4-5 p.m. Sept. 18,
  • Ribbon-cutting: 4-5 p.m. Sept. 26, Get Some Fitness (31119 Greenfield Rd. in Beverly Hills)
  • Member coffee: 8-9 a.m. Sept. 27, Honigman, Miller, Schwartz and Cohn LLP (39400 Woodward Ave. in Bloomfield Hills)
  • Ribbon-cuttings: 4-5 p.m. Oct. 2, Dr. Pauleena Singh-Gandreti Family Medicine (6405 Telegraph Rd. in Bloomfield Township)
  • Professional Edge Workshop: Oct. 4, Developing a Social Media Strategy
  • Community Leadership Luncheon: 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Oct. 10, Radisson Hotel Detroit-Bloomfield Hills

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