Will O’Hara, a 2011 CMU grad who majored in finance and minored in marketing, is bringing a Firehouse Subs to Mission Street in Mount Pleasant in the late winter or early spring.
The Firehouse Subs franchise originated in Florida, and when O’Hara’s parents traveled south, they noticed the restaurants and wondered why nothing similar was in Michigan.
O’Hara began researching the company and thought there was good potential for a location in Mt. Pleasant.
“The franchise is a little more unique. If you compare the quality of the food to Jimmy John’s or Subway, I think it’s not even close,” O’Hara said. “I think people will eat there and be surprised. It’s definitely something people will like.”
O’Hara will be leasing a 2,400-sq. ft. space from Lacoz LLC to house Firehouse Subs.
The space is part of a new 5,000-sq. ft. building being constructed in the parking lot of the plaza Lacoz also owns, which contains L-1 Bar and Grill, Soldan’s Feed and Pet Supply, Family Dollar and other businesses.
Labelle Realty manages the plaza for Lacoz and will manage the new building.
Brandon Labelle, the project’s manager, said the new building is part of a larger project to utilize the parking lot more efficiently.
The parking lot will feature new asphalt and landscaping. Curb islands will be installed to increase safety.
“The reason for the curb islands is that right now it’s wide open like a race track, which is just an accident waiting to happen, so this will give people more direction on where to go,” Labelle said. “It will be safer, look nicer with trees and irrigation. Overall, it will enhance the look of the center and of Mission Street.”
Labelle said the plan is for the building to be done in six to eight weeks, and O’Hara would like Firehouse Subs to be opened by February or March.
Labelle said the remaining space in the new building has yet to be leased. This space has a drive-thru and could be a location for a book store, hair salon, ice cream shop or a variety of other types of businesses.
Any business can rent the space as long as it meets the zoning requirements of the area, Labelle said.
In the next month, Labelle said the plaza will also be getting a makeover.
“We are going to do a façade renovation,” Labelle said. “If we’re going to enhance the look of the parking lot and add a new building, we want it all to tie together.”