People who enjoy a little morning perk are about to have a new coffee stop in Princeton.
Caribou Coffee has its eyes on Princeton and has plans to open a free-standing coffee shop on 0.7 acres located between McDonald’s and the northbound Highway 169 entrance ramp in the city’s southwest quadrant.
The plan, proposed by United Properties Investment, LLC, has been approved by the Princeton Planning Commission and the Princeton City Council. The property, which will have an address of 703 Northland Drive, is owned by Ashland Inc. of Lexington, Kentucky.
Plans submitted to the Planning Commission call for a 1,750-square-foot building, 20 feet in height, with a drive-thru lane on the north side of the building. The building will seat 48 customers and have an outdoor patio with seating for 16 people on the west side of the building. Customers will access the coffee shop from Northland Drive using an access between ShopKo and McDonald’s that was established in the 1990s. The parking lot will have 35 stalls.
The city zoning office did put some conditions on the development. City staff recommended approval of the development’s site plan under the conditions that bicycle racks will be installed to accommodate bicyclists, a 138-square-foot trash enclosure will be the same color as the building, signage will be reviewed by city staff prior to being installed, and an escrow will be submitted prior to any digging in the street if required for connection to the city sewer system.
The developers also requested and were granted a variance to allow for the drive-thru window. The variance was necessary because the zoning of the property does not meet the zoning requirement of the city’s comprehensive plan — an omission made in 2008 when the city’s comprehensive plan was last updated.
The property is zoned B-2 neighborhood commercial, which allows for coffee shops, but not drive-thru features. But under the comprehensive plan, the property is designated as a highway commercial property in the city’s future land use plan. That use should have been rezoned B-3 highway commercial to match the land use plan.
The city plans to rezone the property B-3 in the near future, but not in time to accommodate the building of Caribou Coffee. Had the rezoning already occurred, a variance would not be required, according to a city staff report.
The Caribou Coffee outlet will add in Princeton another option for high-end beverages such as coffees, teas and fruit drinks like smoothies. The establishment looks to compete most directly with the Coffee Corner, located downtown at 502 S. Second St., and McDonald’s. But gas station convenience stores such as Holiday, SuperAmerica, Marathon, Caseys and specialty drink restaurant Dairy Queen could also be impacted by the new establishment.