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Starbucks may be coming to Ann Arbor Road in Plymouth Twp.

 Starbucks may be coming to Ann Arbor Road in Plymouth Twp.

A Starbucks Coffee shop (like this one located on Ford Road in Canton) could be coming to Ann Arbor Road in Plymouth Township.

The long-vacant building that most recently was the home of Applied Fitness Science at 40700 Ann Arbor Road (approximately 100 yards east of Haggerty Road) could be demolished and replaced with a Starbucks Coffee shop as soon as mid- to late-2025.

But before the construction equipment starts percolating, a number of hurdles still have to be cleared.

Initially planned to be converted into a car wash/Starbucks, the development team ditched the car wash concept, in part, because extensive research on market conditions for car washes in the community was not promising.

During the Jan. 17 Plymouth Township Planning Commission meeting, commissioners voted 4-3 to recommend approval to the Board of Trustees for the conditional rezoning of the property from Office-Service Ann Arbor Road Corridor District to the Ann Arbor Road Corridor District — a necessary step in bringing a Starbucks to the space.

The vote for approval followed a vote for denial that failed by a 4-3 vote.

Commissioners Tim Boyd, Bob Doroshewitz and Kendra Barberena voted for denial, citing, among other reasons, that granting the conditional rezoning would set a precedent in the township for granting requests that conflict with the Future Land Use Designation of the Master Plan; and residents living to the north of the property purchased homes in good faith that they would have an office zoning classification as a buffer between their homes and Ann Arbor Road.

The next steps

The proposal is expected to be forwarded sometime this spring to the Board of Trustees, who will be asked to: 1) amend a longstanding consent judgment attached to the property; and 2) approve the conditional rezoning.

If a series of hurdles are cleared this building at 40700 Ann Arbor Road will be demolished and replaced by a Starbucks Coffee shop
If a series of hurdles are cleared this building at 40700 Ann Arbor Road will be demolished and replaced by a Starbucks Coffee shop

In an effort to secure the conditional rezoning, the developer agreed to multiple voluntary conditions “to improve compliance and harmony with the surrounding area and the criteria used to evaluate a rezoning.”

The developer’s new plan includes a 35-foot setback from the neighbors to the north of the property and the planting of trees to serve as a buffer.

The developer has also agreed to repair the road on the site and provide a detention basin for the entire site.

If the rezoning is ultimately approved, the west half of the property (where the car wash was initially slated to be built) will be sodded with turf grass until a plan to develop it under the ARC district guidelines is approved.

The developer also agreed to limit the Starbucks drive-through hours of operation to 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Township Planner Nani Wolf noted that, although the property is zoned Office, “the lack of demand for office space nationwide makes this type of zoning difficult to accommodate.”

The Starbucks at 40700 Ann Arbor Road would be the fourth of the franchise’s locations in Plymouth/Plymouth Township, joining existing sites in the downtown-Plymouth Mayflower Centre, one inside the Kroger near the intersection of Ann Arbor and Sheldon roads, and one near the intersection of Beck and Five Mile roads.

Ed Wright can be reached at 734-664-4657 or edwright@socialhousenews.com.

 

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Ed Wright

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