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Thread: Need to stop a Starbucks

  1. #1

    Need to stop a Starbucks

    It was recently announced that Starbucks is planning on signing a lease in my neighborhood. I live in what is reported to be the largest privately owned historic district in the country; the German Village in Columbus Ohio. We have no chains whatsoever, never have, a very high density of population and a number of small, independent retailers.

    Please let me know of other places that have kept Starbucks out and, if available, who I can contact to get details of the protest. I know the community is willing to stop this but we don't know how. Please help!

  2. #2

    Aug 2002
    Pewaukee, Wisconsin
    Haven't you heard of free enterprise? Just drink local coffee and refuse to go there.

    German Village is in no real danger of being trampled by chains. A good neighborhood needs both independent retail and national retail to be complete. The same argument goes on in Madison, a bit closer to where I am in Milwaukee. A neighborhood is seriously afraid of Walgreens taking over from a independent grocer who is retiring.

    I think your fear is reasonable, but I can only think of a few places where chains have completely taken over a unique place: Freeport, Maine, thanks to L.L. Bean's headquarters; possibly Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, but that has been a resort for Illinois people for many years.

    There are many cities in Illinois where Starbucks is just another place to get coffee. Some of these places are social wastelands, with no urban center. I don't always see local people trying to fill this hole. Someone should.

    I hate their coffee and can't stand the scent of the place. But they are not completely evil.

  3. #3
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Mar 1996
    Upstate New York
    Blog entries
    Zoning codes can regulate the type of business in a particular zoning district, but not the ownership of the business. You can't say that restaurants are permitted in a C-2 district "excepting businesses with out-of-town ownership or those with five or more branches."

    Owners of buildings can decide who their tenants are, and where they can go within a multi-tenant retail center. Is there a private "retail management district" that has a role in tenant selection?

    Some local governments have stopped big box retailers by extablishing maximum size requirements for buildings and/or retail businesses. Starbucks outlets are small, though, and such regulations can't prevent them from going into a location that is appropriately zoned.

    In defense of Starbucks, they don't really have corporate "signature architecture" like other chain businesses. They either move into existing buildings, or build new structures that tend to respect the form and scale of surrounding buildings.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Cheese State
    Not even Madison, WI was able to prevent Starbucks from moving in. They could not even prevent them from opening a coffee shop on the most activist of all streets, State Street, just a half-block from the campus. There are many reasons to patronize the local shops, as I do, but not everyone agrees.

    Incidently, the Walgreens is proposed for a small neighborhood grocery that is closing. Area residents are as equally appalled at losing their neighborhood institution as they are about getting a brick pill box. They, with their alderoid and other government-types, have proposed a library branch, one or two small shops and senior-citizen apartments instead. They may have some luck.

    Your only answer may be a similar approach. Find something else to go there first, then get enough support for your proposal, and hostility to Starbucks, that the chain may bow out. For now.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  5. #5
    Jay Johnson said. "I think your fear is reasonable, but I can only think of a few places where chains have completely taken over a unique place: ...possibly Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, but that has been a resort for Illinois people for many years"

    You're too nice Jay. Why don't you call these "Illinois people" what they really are: F.I.B.s.

    (To those outside of Wisc, I won't tell you what the "F" stands for but "I" is for Illinois and "B" rhymes with "Dastards")

    Tell those FIBs to get back into their SUVs and go back to Hinsdale.

  6. #6

    Sep 2001
    somewhere cold
    I am a little confused about why you would want to prevent the Starbucks from locating in the area. Yes, they are a chain store, but they are not Sprawl-Mart or Home Depot! They seem like they are willing to locate in old buildings and are not very intrusive in a historic area. Do you just want to ban them because of your own morals (i.e. not frequenting chain stores)? Even if it were legal, seems like it is not very ethical.

    Starbucks just opened up their second store in my downtown (in a historic building) and they are a welcome addition to the area. The local businesses (as well as the chains) left 30 years ago and Starbucks is a welcome change from the liquor stores and coney islands downtown. Of course it would be nice if it was a locally owned store, but I am happy to have the new business.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian smarty's avatar
    Sep 2001


    I would have to agree with Mr Stumpft and Mr Tasman on both prevent the USE and that (s)tarbucks are not necessarily a bad business. Here we have 8 in a town with a population of 65K. That doesn't include the mom and pop drive-thru stands that are on every corner in town. Even lumberyards have espresso stands here.

    Starbucks recently converted an old A&W shop into a cafe, and it's VERY nice use of an old stand alone building. The site is more popular now that with the A&W (although I do miss the chilidogs).

    I think the location in a historic district is fine, because 99% of the time Starbucks doesn't build new concrete tiltup trash. They come in for a 'tenant improvement' permit and refurbish a site.

    Starbucks is kind of like listening to Tu-Pac or watching Jerry Springer.....just change the station. Unless you're seriously jonesin' for a spro................

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