Starbucks coming to Buckley, taking over former bank building

Local coffee scene will see new competition from the java giant

Buckley has no shortage of vehicles rolling through town and, by all accounts, the drivers behind the wheel need to stay caffeinated.

State Route 410 already is dotted with coffee shops within the confines of Buckley’s city limits and, now, the java scene is about to get more crowded.

For customers, that means more options. But for the owners and operators of the coffeehouses, that means added competition.

The latest on the scene is the behemoth of the coffee world, Seattle-based Starbucks. The worldwide chain that appears on every corner (it seems) of crowded cities is making a foray onto the quieter Buckley landscape.

Things are still in the early stages, but plans are in the works for Starbucks to take over the freestanding building formerly occupied by Columbia Bank. The formal request has gone through city channels and received municipal support.

Starbucks would add to the list of willing coffee providers that includes a double-sided Bigfoot Java currently under construction on one corner of the Main Street/410 intersection. Not too many blocks away, Gravity Coffee purchased an existing drive-through and invested in notable building improvements. And there are a pair of coffee stands – Café Elite and Plateau Espresso – sitting on the highway not far to the west.

The Starbucks application with the city is rather generic, stating a corporate desire “for the change of use from a bank to a restaurant with drive-thru and a variance to the minimum number of parking stalls.” The applicant is Avalon Development and the individual in charge has an address in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Any Starbucks draws a crowd and the Buckley site has a built-in challenge. Buckley City Administrator Paul Weed said the ingress/egress issue is already the subject of talks between the city and the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Specifically, accessing the old bank site isn’t a problem for those headed east on SR 410; likewise, it’s not much trouble exiting eastbound. The problem lies with traffic coming from the west or wishing to leave the site and travel west. Crossing lanes of traffic on the busy state highway can be a dicey proposal.

While nothing has been decided, Weed points out that the large parcel of land has two entrance/exit points. The second is onto 112th at the rear of the lot. Final details are percolating.

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