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Dunkin' Donuts explains reasons for staying in Canton

Posted by Your Town  October 17, 2013 06:00 PM

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After receiving an offer to relocate to Westwood, Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. decided to keep its roots in Canton for another 16 years.

“We’re happy with our nine years here and we’re looking forward to the next 16,” Jason Maceda, vice-president of Dunkin’ Brands, announced at the selectmen’s meeting Tuesday.

The Dunkin’ Brands headquarters employs about 500 people, 10 percent of them Canton residents, officials say. The company has more than 17,000 Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins franchises worldwide.

Seated beside state Representative William C. Galvin and Canton Economic Development chairman Gene Manning, Maceda said there were obstacles in reaching a deal, but the company, town, and landlord were able to work through them.

One of those obstacles was an offer for the company to move to the new University Station development project in Westwood, according to Galvin.

“Westwood’s offer was better than what we were able to offer, but [Dunkin’ Brands has] become a part of Canton,” said Galvin, who did not provide details of the offer. “They really wanted to stay but made sure it made fiscal sense.”

In a telephone interview Thursday, Westwood Town Administrator Michael Jaillet said Dunkin’ Brands had approached the town to see whether it would make sense for them to relocate. Jaillet said he had spoken with company representatives, but declined to say what the town had offered.

Jaillet said he was disappointed to learn that Dunkin’ Brands would not move to Westwood, but was happy that the company will remain in the region.

The company’s lease for 130 Royall St. was set to expire next year, but Canton selectmen recommended to extend a 20 percent tax break to the landlord, Boston-based real estate corporation H.N. Gorin, for 10 years. The break comes in the form of a tax-increment financing district for the building.

H.N. Gorin will then pass on savings to Dunkin’ Brands.

Town Meeting has yet to ratify the recommendation, but Dunkin’ Brands is proceeding with the lease extension, according to Maceda.

In July, Manning had suggested extending the tax break for five years, but selectmen voted to recommend a 10-year extension based on the competitive bids Dunkin’ Brands received and their desire to keep the company in town, said Selectman Robert Burr.

The 175,000-square-foot Royall Street building is valued at $16.5 million and produces about $350,000 annually in taxes for Canton, Manning said.

Maceda added that Dunkin’ Brands would give the town $25,000 for the senior center to be opened at 500 Pleasant St., provide two $2,500 scholarships to Canton High seniors, and set up an internship for a Canton High School student, Maceda said.

The company already contributes to youth sports and is a member of the Canton Association of Business and Industry, Manning said.

Manning said the town also receives good media exposure through press releases sent out by Dunkin’ Brands.

“Every time, Canton, Mass., is at the top of the story,” Manning said.

Selectmen chairman Gerald Salvatori complimented Maceda and his company.

“You’ve always been extremely accommodating, easy to work with, and generous with organizations in town,” Salvatori said.

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