McDonald's expects to be open at Mack Avenue and Canyon/Moran on the Detroit and border in about four months.
A demolition crew began tearing down the former Lochmoor Chrysler dealership at the corner this week , said Tom Gergich, the McDonald's Michigan Area Regional Real Estate Manager.
The , was heavily opposed by Grosse Pointe Farms residents and officials last year.
alerting them to their opposition. The most vocal opposition came from residents who live on Moran Road, which is Canyon across Mack Avenue in Detroit, who had concerns about traffic and noise.
The building will face Canyon and the drive-through lanes will be along Mack Avenue with an exit from them onto Canyon—which residents on Moran believe will lead to increased motorists traveling on their residential street that is already plagued by speeding traffic using it as a cut-through to get to Mack Avenue or into Grosse Pointe.
Gergich said Tuesday the building orientation remains the same as it was presented last year despite some questioning by Detroit officials about whether it could be changed so the front of the building faced Mack Avenue rather than Canyon.
A traffic study was completed for the intersection as Detroit officials requested after hearing the concerns of residents. Gergich said the results showed exactly what McDonald's officials anticipated: the restaurant is not going to draw new traffic but simply draw on the existing traffic that will already be passing through the intersection.
Part of what the study looks at is whether the restaurant will reduce the level of service the intersection offers to motorists but in this case, Gergich said, the traffic study showed their would be no change to the level of service.
McDonald's architects did make some changes to the side of the building that will be facing Mack Avenue, however, Gergich said. That side of the building is where the drive-through windows will be but officials have added an additional window to enhance the aesthetics of the building in an attempt to try to address some of the residents concerns, he said.
Additionally, the wall that will separate the drive-through from the sidewalk has been changed a bit also to enhance its aesthetics per requests by area residents, he said.
McDonald's officials had originally planned to perform demolition and construction last fall with the goal of opening by late October. Gergich said McDonald's received approval from Detroit so late in the year that the company was not comfortable starting construction as winter was approaching.
Obviously, he said, the lack of wintery weather is not something that would have been anticipated. Unlike most Michigan winters, construction could have been completed at any time but the company prefers to do it all at once.
After demolition is complete, constrution should begin within 10 to 15 days, he said. At this particular location, McDonald's has to do a variety of environmental testing before construction can begin because the former business was an automotive garage, he said.
After construction begins, the restaurant should open in about 90 days, Gergich said.
The restaurant is to be styled with the company's new concept design, which one McDonald's official described as having a "Starbucky" feel to it during the hearing last year.
McDonald's is only . The other building further down the road remains for lease and will not be demolished or have anything to do with the development of McDonald's.