2017-03-14 / Front Page

Five Guys planned in Biddeford

By ALAN BENNETT
Staff Writer

BIDDEFORD — Hamburger fans, there’s news for you: a Five Guys may be coming to Biddeford soon.

Lena, Illinois-based, design firm Lingle Design Group submitted an application to the city for the construction of a 2,630-square-foot eatery at 580 Alfred St., across from the Shops at Biddeford Crossing, on Feb. 14, according to city planning documents.

The small plaza on Route 111 is already the site of a newer development that includes a Firehouse Subs sandwich shop, Dunkin’ Donuts coffee shop, Sports Clips salon and Mattress Firm store.

The restaurant chain, which specializes in hamburgers and cheeseburgers, french fries and milkshakes, already has several locations throughout Maine. Currently, there are stores in Portland, South Portland, Brunswick, Augusta and Bangor.

Lingle Design Group, which also has offices in Denver, specializes in designs for the fast-casual restaurant industry. Clients of the firm also include McDonald’s, Mexican-style eatery Qdoba and Buffalo Wild Wings, according to documents on Lingle’s website.

Franchisee Gene Prentice, who resides in Portland, said Monday that he's excited to open shop in Biddeford. While Prentice has not yet appeared before the city's Planning Board, he said the plaza's location makes it ideal for an eatery of this type. 

"We felt that given the proximity near the (Biddeford Crossing) ... we think that’s going to garner a lot of attention and excitement," said Prentice, whose group owns all Five Guys establishments in Maine and Rhode Island, and some in Massachusetts. "We’ve considered Biddeford for a while ... between the traffic flow, the visibility of the site and the proximity to the plan, we’re pretty excited."

He said he's hoping to capture those driving to Old Orchard Beach in the summer in addition to those shopping across the street as customers. If all goes as planned, Prentice said, he hopes to open shop in June.

The project is anticipated to cost $230,000 for interior improvement work.

City officials said Monday they are pleased to see a well-known chain show interest in Biddeford, especially at a time when the city is ramping up its development efforts.

“We appreciate their investment in and commitment to our community and being part of our community,” said Dan Stevenson, the city’s director of economic development. “Their investment is part of our continued economic growth in Biddeford, which translates into jobs in the county and adds to a multiplier effect.

“It keeps dollars local, as well,” he said.

The new Five Guys restaurant would be one of three new eateries along Alfred Street, if all goes as planned. Earlier this month, the city’s Planning Board unanimously approved a site plan review for the construction of an 1,800-square-foot Starbucks at the Five Points intersection.

Construction is also underway on a $506,332 combination Taco Bell and Jiffy Lube location at 460 Alfred St., Route 111, next to Amato’s Sandwich Shop.
 
Two former automotive repair shops at the site were razed in October to make way for the project, overseen by Chicago- and New York-based development company Guggenheim Partners LLC.

Plans for the development include a 2,079-square-foot Taco Bell restaurant with a drive-through and an adjoining 4,995-square-foot Jiffy Lube car maintenance shop on the nearly two-acre site.

— Staff Writer Alan Bennett can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 329 or abennett@journaltribune.com.

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