The Union Recorder

June 12, 2013

Famous donut joint to call old Payless building home

Vaishali Patel
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — A lease has been secured to make way for a Dunkin Donuts in the former 3,200 square-foot Payless building. The eatery and coffee shop is slated to open in September.

Recognized as one of the southeast’s most experienced shopping center development and management companies, Halpern Enterprises has owned the old Kroger shopping center for the past decade. The company does not own Pickle Barrel Cafe or Studio Designs Printing.

“We own all of the shops in the shopping center including the old Kroger, Kmart and Payless building. The entire shopping center is 160,000 square feet,” said John Brozovic, regional leasing director at Halpern. “Dunkin Donuts is working on getting their building permits right now. They should open by mid- to late-September.”

In May, the announcement came that a Hobby Lobby will fill the vacant space in the former Kroger storefront. The crafts and homeware store is also slated to open in September.

“We’ve been fortunate that we’ve bought that shopping center, and Milledgeville has been very good to us,” Brozovic said. “We were disappointed when we lost Kroger to the superstore, but the testament to the location is backed up with Hobby Lobby coming.”

The Kroger Super Center opened in October 2011 off Highway 441 North as a regional shopping destination, making Milledgeville a retail hub. Currently, the Heritage Walk shopping center houses China Garden, Nail Pro, 1st Franklin Financial, The UPS Store, Papa John’s, It’s Fashion and Kmart. The former K Beauty Supply storefront is currently vacant.

According to the company website, Dunkin Donuts sold 2.4 billion donuts last year at its restaurants in 31 countries. The eatery will serve up its famous coffee and baked goods to Milledgeville patrons in three months time. 

Headquartered in northeast Atlanta, Halpern Enterprises, a family-owned and operated business since the 1960s, owns more than 3.5 million square feet of leasable space in 33 retail properties.

“We’ve been around for more than 50 years. We own, lease, manage and develop shopping centers, primarily grocery anchored centers. Up until the last couple of years, we’ve been within an hour or two of downtown Atlanta. Now we have properties in South Carolina and Florida.”

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