CRESWELL – Misinformation has led to false celebration.
Due to a mistaken source, The Chronicle last week misreported that Creswell’s incoming McDonald’s would not affect China Wok or Hot Shots, two businesses that are located nearby 375 E. Oregon Ave., where McDonald’s will be developed.
The source, construction manager Drew Sanchez, said on Oct. 24 that, unless Hot Shots and China Wok did not renew their leases, the businesses should be unaffected.
But according to city officials and site plans presented to the Planning Commission, the two businesses will in fact be displaced by the incoming fast food chain.
“I am not a lease expert, but I would have to imagine that the leases would be broken once McDonald’s starts construction,” wrote Curtis Thomas, city planner.
Bill Spencer, who serves on the Creswell Planning Commission and is the owner of the 76 Station, said that the two restaurants will not remain in their locations, according to the McDonald’s site plans presented to the planning commission.
“I think it’ll probably become evident in the next 60 days. It’s obvious to me – this isn’t planning commission stuff; this is from me since I’ve done a little bit of construction – that before they can start McDonald’s, obviously they have to have their building permit, but before they can even go into demolition, they’ve gotta tear those (businesses) down,” Spencer said.
While some residents cite excitement for another place to grab a quick bite, other residents, like Lisa Linnell-Olsen, who has lived in Creswell for six years, said no one asked for a chain such as this to come to town, and is concerned that the new restaurant could negatively affect the community.
“It was very popular to ask: ‘What businesses Creswell should get?’ But there’s literally never been anyone who said ‘McDonald’s,’” she said.
She said she has many concerns about this whole situation, describing it as “yucky,” and mentioning her unease that McDonald’s is allowing people who aren’t local – such as Porters Holding LLC, the group which owns the property, as it is based in Las Vegas, Nev. – to greatly affect the Creswell community.
“I’m horrified that McDonald’s is trying to sell us on job creation,” she said. “In other words, you’re going to exploit our labor force. We have human capital, and you’re the lowest bidder.”
China Wok manager Jenny, who declined to mention her last name, said that China Wok had not heard this news until The Chronicle called and inquired about it. She declined further comment. Hot Shots did not respond to requests for comment.
Thomas mentioned that he and the City did not intend to be dishonest or deceive either of the local businesses by not relaying the information gained at the planning commission meeting regarding the McDonald’s site plans. He added that it was up to Porters Holding LLC, which owns the property, to share the information with China Wok and Hot Shots.
“It’s not a formal responsibility of anyone, but it’s a good practice. It was never intended to be a secret by any means,” Thomas said. “I thought word of mouth would carry it to them pretty quickly, and I’m surprised that this is coming as a surprise. I thought that everything was transparent.”