Dunkin’ Donuts is coming to Independence this summer. And two QuikTrips.

Dunkin’ Donuts is coming to Independence this summer.

Franchisee Sai Jitta says the store, with a drive-through, will be at 2400 S. Missouri 291, next to Denny’s just south of 23rd Street. It is scheduled to open in August.

Dunkin’ Donuts has a strong following nationwide, but only residents who have been around quite a while will recall when the company had any locations in Independence decades ago. The company has been easing back into the Kansas City market, so far with two stores in Overland Park and one in south Kansas City.

And two QuikTrips
Also coming soon: Local attorney and developer Ken McClain now owns outright the empty southeast corner of 23rd Street and Noland Road in Independence, a site that over the years has had a grocery store, an Osco drugstore and, until a couple of years ago, a Big Lots dollar store. Now he says plans call for a new QuikTrip, replacing the one immediately to the south at Noland and Fair.

This will be a bigger QuikTrip along the lines of the store the company opened on U.S. 24 in the Salem East neighborhood a couple of years ago. The “Gen-3” stores are meant to look like a business office. Entrances and parking on both sides of the store are meant to avoid congestion among the customers coming just for gas and those coming inside for food and other goods. Presumably, access right on the corner at 23rd and Noland will be better. Traffic gets a little getting in and out of the current location. Construction starts around June 1.

On that same subject, the old site of Stephenson’s Restaurant and fruit stand has been cleared, making way, yes, for another QuikTrip.

Home prices weak
Average home prices in the metro area are slightly higher than they were a year ago but slightly lower in Jackson County, according to figures releases this week by the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors and Heartland Multiple Listing Sevice.

Last month, across nine counties in both sides of the state line, the average home sold for $146,075 last month, up 2.7 percent from February 2011. Existing homes, at $132,115, were off 0.2 percent, while new homes were up an impressive 14.8 percent, to $321,378. The catch, of course, is that new-home sales account for only about 8 percent of all sales, so existing home sales pull that overall figure down.

It’s been a more downbeat story in Jackson County. The average existing home sold for $98,139 in February, down 2.6 percent in a year. New homes showed a solid rise, 6.3 percent, to $281,774, but put those together and it’s a 1.2 percent decline.

Across the area, 1,636 homes were sold in April, up 27.8 percent from a year earlier. Still, more than 13,500 homes were on the market, about a seven-month supply of inventory, a condition that Realtors say continues to slightly favor buyers.