Talk heats up of Starbucks coming to Williams
If Starbucks is really coming to Williams, the Seattle-based company is not saying.
In fact, the coffee firm that prides itself on customer service, is not even returning calls to confirm or deny.
But that is not stopping the talk around town, which indicates that Starbucks is at least considering the site of an abandoned gas station on E Street just west of the Interstate 5 exchange.
"They have talked to us," said City Administrator Chuck Bergson, who connected the company to the Bay Area-based owners of the property.
The station, once an Arco AM-PM, has been vacant for more than three years.
A different developer, Nirmal Singh of Modesto, is building a new Arco station along E Street on the east side of the interstate.
The latest talk about Starbucks comes with city confirmation — at least in terms of being contacted by the coffee company.
Bergson said a Starbucks official requested information from city regarding design guidelines and other regulations, which the city provided.
That was several months ago. Bergson knows a representative has been on site as well.
"We have sent them a bunch of information, but they could look at it and decide to do nothing," Bergson said.
"We have told them we would encourage them and would do whatever we could to facilitate and expedite the process," Bergson said.
The city would love to get something done with the building, if for no other reason than to rehabilitate a vacant commercial property so close to the interstate.
In the meantime, the new Arco station is going through plan checks right now and the city expects to issue building permits sometime next month.
Construction could begin immediately after that.
The 4,175-square-foot building will be on 1.49 acres at the northeast corner of Vann and E streets, just east of the Taco Bell.
About 2,900 square feet of that space will be dedicated to the AM-PM store and nearly 1,300 square feet for the drive-through restaurant.
It calls for an eight-pump, 16-nozzle gas station, officials said.
When the firm brought the design plans to the Planning Commission on Feb. 27, one of the possibilities for the restaurant space was, of all things, a Starbucks.
But that was just an idea being thrown out in the wind. There had been no discussions with the developer and Starbucks at that time.