Demolition of Shipley Donuts Has Begun
Shipley Donuts is in the process of being torn down and it will soon become a Potbelly Sandwich Shop.
West U Chief Building Official John Brown said the demolition permit was issued on Wednesday and has to be completed within 10 days once demolition has begun.
Kirby Retail Fund Ltd. is tearing down the building at 5800 Kirby to construct a Potbelly Sandwich Shop. The permits to start building have not yet been issued by the city, Brown said.
The Building and Standards Commission recently denied a request by the company to keep the Shipley Donuts sign after the building is demolished. Kirby Retail Fund wanted to keep the existing ground sign and change the faces on it.
Property owner Bob Orkin started talking with Potbelly in May of 2009 and had a letter of intent in October of 2009. The next step was approaching the City of West U about rezoning the property.
Rezoning was necessary because the property was considered a townhouse district even though it had been used as a commercial property for as long as anyone could remember. It used to be considered a commercial zone, but that designation was changed by the Zoning and Planning Commission in 1974.
The property at 5800 Kirby and two other adjacent commercial properties were included in the townhouse district.
The three properties in the townhouse district had “pre-existing, non-conforming uses” and property owners were not allowed to make changes to their buildings or land. They could switch tenants as long as they didn’t make substantial changes in the process.
Council approved rezoning 5800 Kirby from a townhouse district to a commercial district in June of last year.
The donut shop officially closed its doors in February and reopened in its new location at 5225 Bellaire Blvd.