The site is owned by John Biggi Jr., owner of Portland-basedBiggi Investments. The existing building was most recently leasedby Atlanta-based RTM, which shuttered its Arby's store there ninemonths ago. GlobeSt.com first reported McDonald's interest in thesite back in October 2000.

A source at RTM told GlobeSt.com at that time that the Hawthorneneighborhood "didn't fit our customer profile" and wasn't turning aprofit. Indeed, Hawthorne residents and businesspeople have shown adistinct lack of interest in the biggest of the national fast foodchains. In addition to Arby's, Arctic Circle and Kentucky FriedChicken have come and gone from the district, and Burger Kingcanceled plans due to neighborhood opposition.

The existing development on the site is a traditional,surburban-style fast food facility. It devotes most of its lot toparking in stark contrast to the rest of the pedestrian-orienteddistrict. . Currently, the only national fast food retailer in theheart of the district is Noah's Bagels, which fit into an existingstorefront that fronts the sidewalk.

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