The proposed retail site that would house Starbucks among other businesses garnered mixed reactions from residents during last night's Waltham City Council meeting.
Several residents favored the proposed retail site for the intersection of Lexington Street and Trapelo Road, while others said it would amplify the amount of traffic in the area.
The site's owner, Daniel Yu, is requesting a special permit from the city to reduce the number of parking spaces at the site from the required 56 to 47. He is also requesting a special permit for a drive-thru window for a bank that would be located at the site. The council referred the matter to the Ordinance and Rules Committe for a May 7 meeting.
If approved, the Starbucks location would the company's first in Waltham.
Before residents spoke, Yu and his representatives presented additional details of their proposal.
- A Starbucks, asian fusion restaurant and a bank are just three of tenants proposed to locate at the site, according to attorney Philip McCourt, who represents Yu. Other potential tenants for the remaining space have not yet been revealed.
- Overall, the building would be about 9,000 square feet.
- The bank would have a drive-thru window, according to McCourt.
- Lighting for the site would avoid spilling over onto the property of abutters, according to McCourt.
- The bank would likely operate in accordance with normal bank hours.
- The dumpster would be shielded and the owner would be responsible for keeping the sidewalks clean, according to McCourt.
- Work to cleanup the site of contaminants left from the Shell gas station formerly located at the site is scheduled to be completed soon, according to Yu.
- Basically, traffic signals near the site would be synchronized to more optimmally direct traffic, according to the project's traffic engineer.
- Also, a raised curb would be installed.
- Still, several residents objected saying additonal traffic would only worsen the current flow of motorists. Kingston Road resdient Greg Merlino said that after seeing the amount of traffic other Starbucks locations have drawn, he feared the impacts of a new Waltham branch. “I'm really worried about the impact it has,” Merlino said.
- Two other residents also objected citing traffic concerns.
- Brown Street resident Ryan Hoyt said he would love to see Starbucks come to Waltham. Hoyt said he had been visiting the Belmont location for the past 10 years and would rather spend his money at a Waltham location. “It would be nice to be able to walk to a Starbucks," Hoyt said.
- Merlino also said he was concerned about not knowing what the other tenants would be and what impact they might have on the immediate area.