Mineola Starbucks draws traffic concerns from trustees

Mineola Village Board trustees met Starbucks’ application to open a downtown store with enthusiasm, but raised concerns it would exacerbate traffic problems during peak business hours.

Citing worries about curbside deliveries and double-parking, the board asked Starbucks and WFC Architects to submit a traffic study for the proposed cafe at 210 Station Plaza North before it would approve a special-use permit to sell food and beverages.

Trustees said a new Starbucks in the downtown district would be a welcome addition, but tabled the application and asked that the study be submitted before its May 11 meeting.

A transportation engineer of the board’s selection will do the traffic study, trustees said, addressing concerns of congestion from buses, shuttles and Winthrop-University Hospital deliveries.

Starbucks real estate store development manager Lindsay Trimarchi told the board the company does not believe the store will be create much traffic because of the train station, hospital and new nearby residences. 

The Station Plaza was the only location Trimarchi looked at due to its visibility and its competitive location, she said.

The Starbucks would be open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. and deliveries would be scheduled typically from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., said Neil McDonald, a partner at WFC Architects.

Village Deputy Mayor Paul Pereira said the possible addition of a third track to the Long Island Rail Road could potentially change the physical appearance of the plaza, which could also impact traffic.

The 890-square-foot grab-and-go cafe would replace the Mineola Card & Convenience Store in a two-story mixed-use building across from the Mineola Long Island Rail Road station. It would sell pre-packaged food and beverages, McDonald said.

“It would primarily serve commuters and residents, with no public seating being offered,” he said.

McDonald said the existing storefront is in a state of disrepair and will be entirely replaced. The exterior will benefit from improvements and upgrades, including high-grade floor to wall and ceiling finishes, new lighting and mechanical systems, he said.

“It’s going to be an improvement in the community,” McDonald said.

Mayor Scott Strauss asked whether Starbucks would be amenable to participating in the village’s downtown Facade Improvement Program, which aims to give downtown storefronts an updated and uniform appearance.

Federal funds funneled through Nassa County Community Development Block Grants would fund up to 75 percent of the storefront upgrade, Strauss said.

McDonald asked the board to share the program’s standards and said he would be happy to look at it.

The Nassau County Department of Health approved Starbucks’ plans on March 28, and Starbucks intends to submit a food-service application to the department once the village gives approval, McDonald said.

The Village Board announced the Mineola Chamber of Commerce Street Fair, originally scheduled for Sept. 11, will be moved to October out of respect for the anniversary of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks.

The first free concert in Memorial Park after its $2 million renovation will feature the Cold Spring Harbor Band, a Billy Joel tribute band. 

Strauss said the board would like to encourage local talent to participate in future events.

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