Henrico supervisors approve drive-through Starbucks at River Road Shopping Center

A rendering of the planned Starbucks location at the River Road Shopping Center in Henrico’s Near West End. (Courtesy Starbucks/Henrico County)
A drive-through Starbucks location is coming to Henrico’s Near West End.
The county’s board of supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved the rezoning of an outparcel in the River Road Shopping Center at River and Huguenot roads to allow for a vacant bank to be transformed into a drive-through location for the popular coffee chain.
The existing building will be repurposed, but no major changes are planned, according to Assistant Henrico Planning Director Jean Moore. The drive-through lane will accommodate at least 11 vehicles at a time – the same as the bank once did, according to Moore – and the center’s parking lot should accommodate additional vehicles as they wait.
Starbucks will create a bypass lane for cars to circumvent the drive-through and also will make improvements to the sidewalk along Huguenot Road, Moore said.
The project still must earn plan of development approval from the Henrico Planning Commission, a process during which county and Virginia Department of Transportation officials will evaluate specific details, including traffic and sidewalk proposals.
Tucakhoe District Supervisor Pat O’Bannon, whose district includes the parcel, asked whether there would be sufficient space for vehicles to wait in line, given the popularity of Starbucks and the busy area the new location will serve.
“I’m pretty sure they’re going to be successful,” O’Bannon said.
Henrico Public Works Director Terrell Hughes told her that county and VDOT officials have no concerns about drive-through customers overflowing the parking lot or creating traffic problems or accidents on Huguenot or River roads.
The rezoning change – from B-1 to (business district) to B-2C (business district conditional) was necessary to permit the food service drive-through, Moore said. But Starbucks included a provision in its request that forbids the site from being used for traditional fast-food businesses, which addressed a concern expressed by some in the community.
The Henrico Planning Commission had recommended approval of the plans during its Aug. 12 meeting.
“We’re zoning this because it’s a good use for the site,” O’Bannon said. “Re-use of an old building is something that we often have problems with, so I’m very pleased that we have a company that wants to come in here and use the building that’s there, because it’s an attractive building and I think this’ll be a good re-use.”The post Henrico supervisors approve drive-through Starbucks at River Road Shopping Center first appeared on The Henrico Citizen.

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