Starbucks to move to expanded Sherman Avenue location

Edward Cox, Reporter

Starbucks officials expect to move their cramped Sherman Avenue location to a more expansive storefront two spaces up the block after the city’s zoning board of appeals approved an architect’s application Tuesday night for a special use permit.

Upon approval from the Evanston City Council, the coffee chain will move its 1726 Sherman Ave. franchise to 1734 Sherman Ave., the currently vacant space next to restaurant Cosi.

“It’s nice to see that that Starbucks is doing well enough to build a larger location,” zoning board member Matt Rodgers said at the meeting. He added the new location should not substantially change the store’s surroundings.

At Tuesday’s night meeting at the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center, Starbucks development manager John Bell  said the relocated Starbucks should open the day after the old location closes. The special use permit, which is required for a business to operate in the D2 downtown retail core district, passed the meeting with no complaints.

Along with Bell, Starbucks design manager Fabiana Belous was present at the meeting, as were architect Stan Weisbrod and Joy Nazarian, the owner of the space Starbucks wants to occupy.

“We’ve had a good relationship with the community, especially the student population,” Bell said. “At the new location, we’ll do things that we can’t do now because (the current location) is so confined.

At the new 3,000-square-foot spot, the store may hire four additional employees, increasing the workforce from 16 to 20, Bell said.

The building, which Nazarian has already agreed to lease to Starbucks, was built in 1930 and remodeled in 1950, Nazarian said after the meeting. The Nazarian family bought the space 30 years later and opened up Nazarian Brothers, Inc., an oriental rug store.

The family business has since moved on to Washington, D.C.

The location has been vacant for six years, during which Nazarian, who acts as her own agent, decided to lease to Starbucks. Nazarian said she would only lease to national chains, “no restaurants, no nail salons.”

After determining the store relocation would not increase traffic in the area significantly and that store hours would remain the same, among other standards, the zoning board of appeals unanimously approved the special use permit application.

Approval of outdoor seating for the Starbucks will require a separate zoning.