Dunkin' Donuts to open at Hardeeville I-95 exit

Dunkin' Donuts, the national purveyor of pastries and coffee which opened a store and drive-thru in Beaufort in February, will open shop near Interstate 95's Exit 8 in Jasper County, according to company and real estate officials.

BNPT Holdings is finalizing a lease in which Dunkin' Donuts franchisee Chi Yung Wang would occupy part of a new 7,500-square-foot building at 524 Independence Blvd., said Dean Pierce, the company's registered agent.

Wang, who brought Dunkin' Donuts to Beaufort, has an agreement with the franchise to bring five locations to the area. The next closest Dunkin' Donuts is in Savannah, according to its website.

Wang could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.

Pierce said he hopes the new location will open by year's end, although a spokesman for Dunkin' Donuts said the company is targeting late spring.

Plans for the rest of the building, known as the Hilton Head Island Welcome Center, are less certain.

Pierce said he expects a marketing company to fill a second of the building's three units and direct travelers to Hilton Head. Pierce, also general counsel for Hilton Head timeshare company Coral Resorts, said visitors would be invited to tour timeshares and pick up information about the island's hotels and more.

He said he doesn't have plans for the building's third unit.

The proposed sign submitted to the county included a panel for "ISLAND WEAR Gifts & Gear," but Pierce said his company is not negotiating with such an entity and listed it only as an example of a potential tenant.