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Fort Myers Starbucks Becomes First Vehicles-Only Store in the US

In a split vote, the Fort Myers City Council members have approved the country’s first Starbucks where only people in motorcars can be served – no walk-up or in-store service available.

Dubbed a prototype store and a test location for Seattle-based Starbucks Corp., the parking zone at Ben C. Pratt Six Mile Cypress Parkway and Colonial Boulevard can be the positioning of the brand new Starbucks.

Despite an 8-0 vote from the town planning board recommending the rejection of the thought, council members voted 4-2 to permit the development of the brand new drive-thru Starbucks.

It would be positioned within the Walmart parking area near the row of stores that already includes three stores that attract vehicular traffic: a Chick-fil-A, a gas station, and a Burger King. A Walmart liquor store could be the closest to the brand new Starbucks.

“This project was chosen specifically for this location. It is just not someone saying, ‘Hey, what the heck, let’s give it a shot here,'” said Alan Bumberg of Zimple Development Inc. of Tampa Bay, which designed the constructing. “It’s literally the primary one within the nation. It was specifically designed to be a drive-thru model only.”

Councilman Johnny Streets, who voted against allowing the vehicles-only coffee shop, said he had visited the proposed site and regarded it a possible danger.

“I feel the applicants did a excellent job, but I don’t desire the chance of what may be one other traffic problem,” Streets said. “I would not wish to should say this was the primary one within the country where someone got hit by a automobile.”

While opponents of the project take a look at its potential danger, there are many coffee alternatives in the realm ‒ two Starbucks stores are nearby, one on Six Mile Cypress Parkway in front of a Publix supermarket and one other at The Forum. A 3rd, smaller Starbucks coffee stand is positioned within the nearby Goal store.

There is no such thing as a shortage of coffee within the vicinity. The ever-present Dunkin’ Donuts chain has its own stores nearby.

While the planning board was against the plan, some because it might not be convenient for bicyclists who ride in the realm, the town planning staff endorsed it.

“We take a look at this particular site as a Walmart with a really large parking zone,” said city Planning Manager Nicole DeVaughn, noting the provision of the opposite nearby Starbucks. “With those facilities on the opposite side of the highway, we consider this being car-centric wouldn’t be detrimental.”

Fort Myers attorney Neale Montgomery, who represented the developer of the brand new Starbucks, suggested that recent traffic flow patterns under construction at Colonial and Six Mile may discourage bikers and pedestrians from crossing the intersection.

“I do not think anyone goes to be crossing that diverging diamond on foot,” Montgomery said. “In the event that they do, God bless them.”

No timetable for construction has been released.

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