Thanks to renderings filed with the City of Atlanta, Starbucks’ plans to bring Pike Place Roasts and Frappuccinos to a gritty section of Boulevard are becoming clearer.

For at least a year and ½, the coffee giant has been eyeing property to build a new drive-thru location at the northeast intersection of two busy intown corridors, Boulevard and North Avenue.

Plans call for a 2,500-square-foot bistro positioned near the corner’s sidewalks—and for relatively few parking spaces (roughly 18, across both parcels) in favor of a looping, drive-thru queue design, according to renderings.  

Overview of the nixed site plan and specialized drive-thru where Boulevard meets North Avenue. Submitted

The plans came before the BeltLine Design Review Committee this week, an advisory board for city government, like all developments within a half-mile of the BeltLine corridor.

We’ve reached out to Starbucks’ corporate media contacts for information on when construction might begin—and when the Boulevard location might open—and we’ll update this story with any details that come.

The proposed Boulevard frontage, per 2021 documents submitted to the BeltLine Development Review Committee. Submitted

The site is less than three blocks from tourist attractions Ponce City Market and the BeltLine’s Eastside Trail, and just up the street from the upscale Novel O4W apartments.

But in a stark contrast, Starbucks’ project would replace a shuttered medical facility and empty 1940s home in what’s considered the largest concentration of subsidized, Section 8 housing in the Southeast, albeit a development hotspot for revitalized affordable housing.

Both of the adjacent properties Starbucks would require, a combined .7 acres, are now zoned for commercial businesses.

This glass storefront in the 600 block of Boulevard would have replaced a small parking lot for a building most recently used as a medical clinic. Submitted

The coffee shop would operate on the same block as a new drive-thru Chick-fil-A that’s moving forward on the same side of the street, at the corner of Boulevard and Ponce de Leon Avenue.

Just east of the planned Chick-fil-A, Starbucks already has a dine-in location in the Midtown Place shopping center, across the street from Ponce City Market.

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