NORGE — It’s official: A Starbucks is coming to Norge.
The James City County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously supported the re-use of an old bank building for a coffee shop.
The proposal to redevelop the vacant Old Point National Bank premises at 7504 Richmond Road into a coffee shop with a drive-through has proved popular in Norge and is in line with county policies to reuse vacant buildings.
The Starbucks is expected to generate 100 or more additional trips during its peak hour of operation, according to a report to the board. Senior Planner Thomas Wysong said the shop would be accessed from Norge Lane with no direct access onto Richmond Road.
Lauren Sweeney — from planning and design engineering consultants Kimley-Horn — told the planning commission in January that the developers aim to beautify the site and make it a “nice place to spend the afternoon.”
The Virginia Department of Transportation reviewed a traffic study prepared for the project, Sweeney said. The planning commission unanimously recommended approval.
Nobody spoke at a public hearing into the granting of a special use permit on Feb. 14.
“If you don’t approve this you’d probably get run out of town,” said Supervisor Ruth Larson. “I applaud them for repurposing a building.”
However, she raised a concern about the potential traffic impact. “I hope people are cautious, especially on opening day,” Larson said.
Planning commission member Barbara Null said the commission was satisfied the application would not cause traffic issues. “I’m just glad to see somebody reuse that building and bring us some more energy and jobs and people because there’s nothing in Norge that we can’t use,” Null said in January.
“This is a good example of the county working with business and the citizens in order to repurpose these buildings,” said board chair Michael Hipple. “I’m glad Starbucks was able to fit into that building and I think it will stay very busy.”
David Macaulay, firstname.lastname@example.org