Edina is set to get another Starbucks Coffee, with the City Council voting 4-0 to approve a site plan for the project late last month.
The 1,750-square-foot coffee shop is set to occupy parking lot space on the west side of Centennial Lakes Plaza—at 7510 France Avenue South—just north of the existing Old Navy store. Edina already has three other Starbucks locations.
Bruce Carlson, project director with Mid-America Real Estate, said the addition of a new Starbucks to the shopping center is the latest entry in "an exciting story" for the previously struggling development.
"We're really excited about bringing the shopping center closer to France Avenue," Carlson said. "We're trying to increase pedestrian biking use and minimize parking. This is a better, more efficient use of land there."
Dating back to the addition of Whole Foods Market to the plaza, Carlson said Centennial Lakes has had a number of successful tenants start flocking to the commercial space. In addition to Jason's Deli, Ideal Image, a new Subway store, and CherryBerry frozen yogurt, Carlson said HomeGoods has also signed on to occupy the 25,000-square-foot space that previously housed Ultimate Electronics.
Council members raised some concerns about cars backing up in the drive-thru of the Starbucks—the plan allows space for 13 idling vehicles—ultimately asking the developer to consent to a proof-of-stacking agreement. Similar to existing proof-of-parking agreements, it would require the developer to add more stacking space, if needed down the road.
Council Member Ann Swenson was particularly concerned about the stacking situation, saying she didn't want to see a repeat of congestion often seen at the Grandview location.
"Having experienced the drive-thru at the Starbucks by The Eden Avenue Grill, it causes at some times an inability to get through there," Swenson said.
The Council also asked that the developer relocate a bike rack to the northeast part of the project area, in addition to installing more landscaping along the west elevation of the building and near its seating section.
A Starbucks representative said the new location will tentatively have seating space for 30-35 customers, though that could change. Out of 55 stores currently in Minnesota, she said 20 of those stores have drive-thrus.
"Right now, every store that we look at, we like to do a drive-thru," she said.