Upper Arlington News

Arlington Square

Starbucks proposed for Taco Bell site on Henderson Rd.

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Upper Arlington city officials will consider a proposal this month for a Starbucks Coffee in the Arlington Square Shopping Center.

Starbucks is seeking to open a new coffee shop and drive-through at 1873 W. Henderson Road.

The business would replace a Taco Bell and Pizza Hut on the site, which closed about two months ago.

The Upper Arlington Board of Zoning and Planning is scheduled to review the Starbucks request May 20 after discussing it with the applicant at a May 6 work session.

According to Upper Arlington Senior Planning Officer Chad Gibson, the company plans to maintain 15 to 20 employees at the site and would make considerable upgrades to the interior and exterior of the building, in addition to funding the construction of sidewalks in front of its property.

"Staff and the (Upper Arlington Board of Zoning and Planning) are working with Starbucks' representatives to enhance the exterior of the building and upgrade it," Gibson said. "For example, it would include the addition of brick to the exterior that currently is stucco.

"At our request, they are going to be installing sidewalks along Henderson Road and connecting that to their site," he said. "We're making progress in providing for a more walkable community for that area."

A representative of the project referred ThisWeek Upper Arlington News to Starbucks' corporate media relations office when contacted last week. As of press time, the company had not responded to requests for comment.

Gibson said BZAP members tentatively have expressed support for the project, and he expects it to receive approval.

Should that occur and the 21-day appeal period passes without outside objections, Gibson said, renovations could start this summer.

In addition to exterior upgrades, plans call for the interior renovation to incorporate U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design elements, including lighting and water reduction measures. The applicant also has pledged to capture heat from some refrigeration units and use it to warm water.

Proposed operating hours would be from 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., seven days a week.

If approved, the Starbucks would be the newest addition to the Arlington Square Shopping Center, which was built in 1968. The center was purchased by Garrison Central II Arlington LLC last January for $12.25 million.

"They are making a significant investment to an aging structure," Gibson said. "That's certainly a major boost for that area."

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