New look for McDonald's

Middlebury's popular McDonald's Restaurant is getting a major makeover this month. The restaurant, located at the Hannaford shopping plaza on Route 7 south of the downtown area, will replace the fast-food facility that stood at the site since 1980s.

According to architect Chris Boyea of Albany, N.Y., the new restaurant, while slightly smaller than the original, will be more energy efficient; it will also include an attractive landscaped green area that pleases town officials. Green space has been increased by 30 percent over the old restaurant footprint. Bohler Engineering is in charge of the construction project.

The old McDonald's placed demands on town water and sewer services, but now the new restaurant will be a model in efficiency and energy frugality. It will have a far smaller footprint on the local environment in terms of consuming municipal services. Middlebury McDonald's is a praiseworthy example of balancing the pursuit of business interests with being a responsible contributor to the community-its food services, tax payments, and many charitable activities have benefitted Addison County.

Efficient insulation and wiring will also dramatically decrease energy consumption and extend fuel oil during the winter months.

The footprint of the new restaurant, now under construction is the same as the old eatery except it has been shifted slightly to the south to accommodate parking on the side. Boyea included a safer exist plan from the site in the new design.

Originally, the exterior design included two yellow roof cap elements with a "swoosh" design. But during public hearings and deliberations, town officials led by Gary Baker, chairman of the Middlebury Development Review Board, considered the roof cap elements to be advertising or signage that feel under Middlebury's zoning and subdivision regulations.

Over McDonald's objections Middlebury DRB considered the roofcap elements as "outdoor advertising" and the design was modified to reflect the current look.

The applicant had requested 344 square feet for signage and officials noted the dimensions exceeded local regulations. In addition to these changes, Boyea redesigned the exterior signage to remove the large "McDonald's" on the signage.

McDonald's plans a grand opening of the rebuilt restaurant early this autumn.

Architect's rendering of the new McDonald's Restaurant now under construction in Middlebury

Image courtesy Town of Middlebury

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