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Starbucks and GPD Group had to request an amendment to the Windward Master Plan because zoning in that area allows banks to have drive-thrus, but not restaurants. On an application for a public hearing, the applicant — Erika Aultman of State Permits, Inc. — wrote that Starbucks does not consider itself a restaurant, but a coffee shop, and those are not classified in the master plan.
“It would not be economically feasible for Starbucks to redevelop this site without the ability to have a drive-thru,” Aultman wrote. “Much of their business is comprised of passerby traffic.”
The Starbucks proposal was first submitted to the city by the GPD Group on June 28. Based in Sandy Springs, the group describes itself on its website as a “collaborative effort of companies that specialize in areas of architectural design, engineering design, construction, telecommunications and environmental services.”
The property being eyed for the coffee shop is on the southwest corner of Windward Parkway and Market Place, a plot of land that spans 1.15 acres. The abandoned bank that sits there now, originally built in 2008, covers 3,625 square-feet.
GPD Group wants to keep the existing building for the Starbucks, but wants to add a covered open air patio, a dumpster enclosure, a sidewalk connection and an outdoor seating area.
If approved, part of the agreement between the city and GPD Group is that they will have to use “decorative landscape” to screen the drive-thru.
Alpharetta’s City Council will review the proposal on Aug. 27.
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