Starbucks is looking for a new cafe in the Farmington Hills mall
Ordering Frappuccinos in southeast Farmington Hills might get a whole lot easier in the near future. It will simply be a matter of making a decision of the city’s zoning appeal board.
Plans for a standalone Starbucks have been pitched to the city with the Seattle-based coffee giant looking to open a new store in vacant buildings in the southeast corner of the West River Mall at 30000 Grand River.
“We have already acquired these two properties. We have done so at our own risk,” said Nick Shango, the petitioner who owns this property. “We have a lease with Starbucks. If approved, we can move forward.”
The store would include a drive-thru, which would cause problems getting the project approved. Due to the building’s location near a residence, a drive-thru is not permitted under city ordinance. A waiver would be needed to add drive-thru, which was discussed at the city’s planning commission meeting on August 18.
“So it’s not allowed to be used in that location. So it’s not something you can approve of. If you deny it tonight, it can appeal to the zoning appeal board through the prosecutor. of the city,” said Joe Tangari, consultant at Giffels. Webster, the company that works with planning in the city. “Then he can come back if he gets the usage variance that would be needed to allow usage in that location.”
The refusal of the project is what happened: the town planning commission voted unanimously to refuse the site plan as presented. Dubbed a procedural measure, the denial allows Shango to take his case to the Zoning Appeal Board to rule on granting a drive-thru waiver. If this waiver is granted, the project may then return to the planning commission for its review and recommendation.
If added, the coffee would continue to grow in the mid-west Middlebelt and between Grand River and Nine Mile. Several other businesses have moved into the square in recent years, including Big Lots, The Edge Fitness Club, and Evolution Hair Company and Beauty Bar. Additionally, the Riviera Cinema Powered by Emagine has also expanded, adding more theaters to the multiplex.
Shango said they’ve tried to make as much progress as possible on the project, including doing a thorough traffic survey and communicating with residents who live near Purdue. He said efforts were being made to ensure a smooth transition to add the cafe as smoothly as possible to the mall.
“We’ve already started sending out letters to residents, the people who live on Purdue,” Shango said. “I’m going to see the residents, I know that’s going to be a factor.
“I want everyone to understand what we’re doing and what impact, any questions we have.”
A Starbucks location exists in West River Square, located inside Target. So there is no drive-thru, and opening hours are limited currently from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.