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Renderings of a possible Starbucks building with different color schemes. The coffeeshop is proposed to be located on the site of a closed gas station near Guido's on Route 7.
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Starbucks Proposed on Pittsfield-Lenox Road

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city currently has three Starbucks — all of which are condensed in Berkshire Crossing. That may be about to change.

The Community Development Board on Tuesday unanimously approved a site plan from Jamasan Hotel Management for the construction of a coffee shop and drive-through at 1030 South St., next to Guido's Fresh Marketplace.

Renderings of the proposed building revealed that it is a Starbucks.

The approval came with a couple of concerns that the board wants to communicate with the City Council, which has the final vote. These are about the possibility of vehicular conflict in front of the site and stormwater discharge.

The popular coffee chain has three locations at 555 Hubbard Ave. and Berkshire Crossing. The Hubbard Avenue location has a drive-through, the second is located inside Barnes and Noble, and the third is in Market 32.

Starbucks' competition Dunkin' Donuts has double the presence in Pittsfield with six locations.

The proposed site on Route 7 spreads over two lots and the front lot used to house a gas station.  The applicants intend to build a 2,700-square-foot coffee shop that maintains the existing curb cuts for entry and exit, has a drive-through, and a waiting lane for 21 cars with a bypass lane after the order point.

The applicant proposed stormwater recharge and detention that drains through existing pipes running behind the adjacent Jiffy Lube and into a natural outlet. A traffic analysis was done to make sure it will not affect the flow of vehicles on Route 7.

"It's fairly straightforward. We think it's a great redevelopment opportunity for the site, it's appropriate for this commercial corridor," civil engineer Timothy Power said.

The board's concerns were primarily related to the curb cut — which they felt may be hazardous — and stormwater management.

"This stretch of Route 7 is quite a bit different than even when the gas station was there," member Libby Herland said.

"We didn't have a Hilton Garden Inn, Guido's probably has expanded and is doing a tremendous amount of traffic, Bousquet is revitalized, the whole area is just — there's probably a lot more traffic than there used to be and I'm really concerned about people exiting from here right next to the exit for Guido's and for the Hilton."

Herland was also concerned about an increase in water runoff because the redevelopment would make the site more impermeable. She encouraged the applicant to look at ways to retain all of the stormwater on-site.

Powers assured the board that the plan does not increase the amount of water sent to the street and said that if it is preferred, they can send a little more back to the drain line if it has the capacity to handle it.

The council will have a public hearing on the proposal on Oct. 11 at its regularly scheduled meeting.

Tags: coffeeshop,   Planning Board,   

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