A Starbucks drive-thru could go to the Garden Village mall in San Pedro, where the nearby Ponte Vista subdivision is currently under construction.
The coffee chain’s proposed location would go where a vacant bank building currently stands, 28134 S. Western Ave. It would join several existing retailers in this mall, including Albertsons, Rite-Aid, Coco’s, Banfield Pet Hospital, Phoenix Salon Suites – and an already existing Starbucks.
There are currently eight Starbucks in San Pedro, some of which are located in grocery stores. Four San Pedro Starbucks have drive-thru.
Developers of the proposed project, near Westmont Drive, did not respond to requests for comment.
The proposal, however, appears to be part of the Seattle coffeehouse chain’s ongoing expansion efforts, both locally and globally.
Another Starbucks drive-thru was also proposed for the Target parking lot at 1701 N. Gaffey St., as part of a “San Pedro Market Place” that would also include The Habit, a popular burger chain restaurant. This proposal remains with the City of Los Angeles Planning Department and is going through approval processes.
A conditional use permit proposed to put a Starbucks drive-thru on Pacific Coast Highway and Second Street in Hermosa Beach was unanimously rejected last week by that city’s Planning Commission, citing traffic issues .
But Starbucks is also considering moving to a former Jack in the Box property in Manhattan Beach, a representative from that city’s Community Development Department said Wednesday.
Globally, Starbucks opened 484 net new stores in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, according to the company’s latest earnings report. Starbucks also surpassed 5,500 stores in China, a milestone in continued efforts to expand the chain’s presence there.
Overall, the coffee chain brought in $8.1 billion in revenue during the first quarter, according to the earnings report. This sales represented a growth of 19%, with US store sales increasing by 18% compared to the same period last year.
“Our brand is stronger and more resilient than ever,” Starbucks President and CEO Kevin Johnson said in this report, “and we remain confident in the long-term outlook as we navigate the future together. ‘future of Starbucks’.
The proposed Western Avenue Starbucks, meanwhile, is planned as a 2,178-square-foot drive-thru business, complete with outdoor patio seating and solar panels.
The plans are currently working their way through the city.
“A court date has not yet been set,” a planning department media representative said in an email. “The case is currently on hold while we await documents.”
The drive-thru lane is designed to accommodate 10 vehicles in the lane and 15 total without blocking the center common aisle. His hours would be 4 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week.
The application to the city for a conditional use permit says the Los Angeles Department of Transportation has determined that the new use, if approved, would bring 500 or more average daily vehicles to the scene.
The Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council heard a presentation on the project earlier this month, but did not take a position on it.
Among the likely concerns, however, will be the already heavy traffic along Western Avenue, especially as more homes move up to the Ponte Vista site, a short distance to the north. The market-rate housing development, which began construction in October 2020 after years of planning and haggling, will eventually include 676 homes on 61.5 acres.
Vehicles backing onto the street because of a new Starbucks drive-thru, if approved, would be an unlikely scenario, according to a Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council officer; additional motorists would more likely impact the mall itself.
But traffic has long been a major problem along Western Avenue. The impact of the new housing project on traffic on this busy thoroughfare has been the main source of contention in the years that developers of Ponte Vista have sought approval for this project.
Starbucks, which has become arguably America’s best-known “fast-food” coffee shop, opened its first store in Seattle’s Pike Place Market in 1971 and its first drive-thru in 1994.
There are 15,500 US Starbucks, according to the first-quarter earnings report. In June 2020, amid the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, the company announced that it would increase the number of drive-thru, as well as the number of stores offering in-store and curbside pickup.