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Mixed Reaction For Site of Proposed Waltham Starbucks

Next meeting about the site will be held on May 7.

The proposed retail site that would 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.

Site Specifications/Information

  • 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.

Traffic

  • 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.

Project Support

  • 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.

Project Concerns

  • 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.
Lydia Magill April 24, 2012 at 11:45 AM
Starbucks could certainly see its share of pedestrian traffic given the number of complexes within walking distance, but, does Waltham really need another bank??
Cairo kid April 24, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Progress in Waltham is so slow; certainly Nothing wrong with a Starbuck's to liven things up, and the coffee is good! ( Sorry DD I still luv u too) All those who object are usually ole farts who sit in the front window and complain about everything! I CANNOT see a Starbuck's as a detriment!
John April 24, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Whenever any project is planned for Trapelo Rd, traffic is always the first thing that comes to mind. However the real issue of capacity and Trapelo Rd's use as an alternative to Route 2 or Concord Ave never gets discussed. Trapelo Rd has been around since the 1790s and has changed very little except it's not a dirt road anymore. Trapelo Rd is in many places in disrepair from over 18 months of building working north and south of Forest St. The residents of Trapelo Rd never seem to get consideration. Where does the guy live that complaining, Kingston Terrace. I suspect the crux of his complaint is access between the traffic Kingston Terr because of the lines that form at the intersection of Trapelo Rd and Lexington during rush hour. Starbuck's isn't going to make much difference. A whole new approach to Trapelo Rd needs to be thought out.
Matt Carter April 25, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Well John that is about to change as Belmont is preparing for a $14 Million reconstruction of its section of Trapelo Road & Belmont Street and Waltham is preparing to begin its $1.5 Million reconstruction of the Trapelo Road & Forest Street intersection which will include a traffic signal and new turning lanes.

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