Monday night, Collingswood Planning Board members approved a site plan proposal that would turn the old Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) building into a Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.
The now-vacant KFC building, located at 1152 Haddon Ave., sits on the corner of Haddon Avenue and Cuthbert Boulevard in Collingswood.
And Monday night, Krispy Kreme representatives came before Planning Board seeking site plan approvals, use approval and signage approval—approvals required in order to make the transformation possible.
While Krispy Kreme's application was eventually approved by all members on Monday night, the approval didn't come until the borough and Krispy Kreme—which is being franchised by area developer Dough Nuts for Doughnuts Collingswood, LLC—came to an agreement by changing aspects of the proposal.
One of the longest-running issues discussed Monday was the amount of signage Krispy Kreme proposed to feature on the building. Board members had various issues with the size and number of signs Krispy Kreme proposed to erect—but after a lengthy discussion, Krispy Kreme representatives agreed to eliminate two of their originally proposed signs.
According to proposals from Krispy Kreme representatives, the building will undergo very few physical changes. Physical changes would include changing the color of the roof, painting the outside of the building and removing the building's cupola.
These changes, according to Krispy Kreme, are being proposed as an effort to "rebrand and reface" the building to look like a traditional Krispy Kreme establishment.
"We're changing the exterior of the building, but not changing its footprint," said Krispy Kreme's attorney Monday night. "We're going to beautify it, spruce it up, and—hopefully—move right in."
Among the efforts Krispy Kreme agreed to make to beautify the property Monday night were: repaving and relining the parking lot of the building, and refurbishing existing fencing surrounding the building.
According to Dough Nuts for Doughnuts Collingswood, LLC President and Managing Director Brian J. Zaslow, the proposed Krispy Kreme Doughnuts would include a staff of more than 30 employees, with approximately 10 individuals working at any given time.
Zaslow told board members the business' proposed hours of operation would be from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and from 6 a.m. through midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
And the proposed Krispy Kreme would be beneficial to all, said Zaslow Monday night, adding that the Collingswood Krispy Kreme would be the franchise's first location to open in Southern New Jersey.
"We believe Collingswood is a great place for business—it's a vibrant town, and we understand it can be a great opportunity," said Zaslow. "We felt the existing location (KFC) would be perfect for a sweet treat shop. We think it would benefit the community by offering a great service. It will drive traffic to the area, and will benefit other local retailers."
In addition to selling fresh, hot-glazed doughnuts, Zazlow said the proposed location would also offer coffee, cappuccino, espresso, lattes, cold drinks, assorted baked goods and a special line of items, called Krispy Kreme For You—which boasts treats that are less than 350 calories and under nine grams of fat.
"This location would not be a factory store (a manufacturing facility)," said Zaslow in response to questioning. "But this location will provide customers with every product Krispy Kreme makes. The process we'd use here would have all products taken through a hot oven, where they'd be glazed. So customers will get the same doughnut as anywhere else (other Krispy Kreme locations)."
And while Planning Board members expressed concern over various items like signage, shade tree requirements, trash pickups, building upkeep, fencing and more, Krispy Kreme representatives were ready to meet in the middle, agreeing to modify requested items.
While Krispy Kreme officials said Monday night they'd be presenting proposals to Camden County the following evening—on Tuesday, Jan. 25—they came out of Monday's board meeting with approvals, and an agreement to make board-requested revisions.