A Starbucks drive-through coffee shop is planned for the corner of South Claiborne and Washington avenues, across from the Magnolia Marketplace shopping center, according to plans pending before the City Planning Commission today.
The Starbucks is planned for 2841 South Claiborne Avenue, as a standalone building at the far edge of a strip mall anchored by Citi Trends, Save A Lot grocery and Dollar General. A small portion of the strip mall that most recently housed a “Sports Action” retail store will be demolished to make room for the Starbucks, which will sit along the Washington Avenue where patrons can enter the drive-through, according to the site plan.
“There would be pedestrian entrances facing both Claiborne Avenue and Washington Avenue, the drive-through would
be accessible through the existing parking lot, and could be entered either from Claiborne Avenue or Washington
Avenue,” architect Charles Neyrey told neighbors in a letter earlier this year.
Construction is scheduled to begin in July of this year and take about three months, Neyrey said.
The drive-through requires permission from the City Council, which begins with a conditional-use hearing scheduled for 1:30 p.m. today at the City Planning Commission. The city’s planning staff is recommending approval of the application — with the usual assortments of restrictions on signs, lighting, trash, drainage and other design issues — based on the Starbucks’ general compatibility with the other drive-through businesses nearby, such as Raising Cane’s, Taco Bell and McDonald’s.
“Despite the area’s otherwise dense urban character, most of these commercial sites are suburban in character, featuring automobile-oriented structures that were built in recent decades, substantial setbacks from the street, and large, paved vehicular use area,” the City Planning report reads. “… The proposed Starbuck’s is likely to draw more traffic than the existing retail store, which could result in a noticeable traffic increase at the intersection of South Claiborne and Washington Avenues, as vehicles come in and out of the shopping center parking area. However, staff believes that it will be traffic already travelling along Claiborne Avenue, rather than an increase in traffic in the vicinity.”
In addition to the Starbucks at Magazine and Washington, the chain recently opened a location without a drive-through at the corner of Freret and Jefferson, in the former Village Coffee building.