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January 19, 2023

Berlin Starbucks plans approved

Contributed Plans for this Starbucks coffeehouse on Farmington Avenue in Berlin have been approved.

Plans for a new Starbucks with a drive-thru window and reconfigured driveway access along Farmington Avenue in Berlin have been approved.

Peter LaPointe, of Springfield-based Colvest/Kensington LLC, can now move forward with building a 2,500-square-foot Starbucks at 1041-1055 Farmington Ave., in a vacant plaza where a video shop and paint store used to be. 

The property is owned by Colvest and principal Frank Colaccino, and plans include renovating the 4,000-square-foot building instead of demolishing and building new.

Starbucks would occupy roughly two-thirds of the building, leaving room for one or two other tenants.

The drive-thru lane was expanded to allow for a 14-car queue, and the Porters Pass driveway was relocated to improve traffic flow.

Economic Development Director Chris Edge said the 14-car queue is one of the longest allotments he’s seen in a drive-thru plan.

He said developers worked with the Planning and Zoning Commission on concerns over traffic flow, and the amount of light and sound coming from the drive-thru menu board.

“They did a good job to make it safer with the longer queue,” Edge said of the effort to reduce traffic, along with moving the driveway away from the busier traffic areas.

The Planning and Zoning Commission turned down plans for a Starbucks in 2008.

Edge said Starbucks was still looking to set up shop in Berlin, and that the new plan is a good use of a vacant building by a reputable developer who has local ties, and that a lot of creativity went into the layout of the driveway, parking, and the drive-thru queue.

The smaller space in the plaza, roughly 1,650 square feet, is ideal for a commercial or food use, according to the application, although no tenant has been announced for that space.

This would be the first Starbucks for Berlin, although there are other national and local coffee shops in town.

New Starbucks buildings are also planned in neighboring Newington and Wethersfield, featuring drive-thru and walk-up windows.

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