Starbucks opening walk-up store in Downey

DOWNEY – Plans for a new Starbucks coffee shop in Downey were approved Wednesday by the Planning Commission. The new Starbucks will be located on the southeast corner of Imperial Highway and Bellflower Boulevard. The location will be a walk-up and drive-thru establishment, with an outdoor dining area and drive-thru lane included. There will be no café-style indoor seating.

Currently, an automotive mechanic shop resides in the new Starbucks’s future location. The approved project includes the demolition of the current building in order to make way for construction. Stox Restaurant, the property’s neighbor to the immediate east, will remain and stay open for business.

Once finished, the new building will cover 880 square-feet, with the outdoor seating area covering an additional 195 square-feet. It will feature many of the physical traits and color schemes that adhere to Starbucks’s current model for its smaller locations.

The plans also included several landscaping options, including plants that are moderate to low water use, and considered to be drought tolerant. The proposed irrigation system was also designed to be low water use in order to help combat California’s record-breaking drought, and to make irrigation delivery more efficient.

The proposed project adhered to or exceeded all C-2 (general commercial zone) developmental standards, however, the new coffee shop’s drive-thru and single pedestrian pathway was a source of some concern, especially to Commissioner Louis Morales of the 3rd District. Morales pointed out that the lack of multiple pathways coupled with human nature could cause a serious safety hazard if an individual decided to cut across the drive through to reach the walk-up order window.

However, a realistic and reasonable solution could not be found, thus leaving the commission to rely on the hedge that will line the drive-thru lane as a safety barrier. This proved to be the only real complication, as all other concerns that the commission reviewed were settled upon and addressed with the addition of minor conditions for approval.

This marks the second plan for a new Starbucks that the Planning Commission has approved within its last several meetings. Just last month, the commission reviewed plans for the former Bakers Square property on Imperial Highway to be demolished to make way for the popular coffee house brand.

The new plans were unanimously passed by the commission members in attendance, however, Vice Chairperson Matias Flores was not present.



Published: April 16, 2015 - Volume 14 - Issue 01