The plan for a new Caribou Coffee location at the corner of Main and Ferry in Anoka has the green light.
The Anoka City Council Aug. 20 unanimously approved the site plan for the coffee shop, which has long been in development.
Over a year ago the city signed a letter of intent with MW Development to sell a parcel of city owned land at the busy corner.
“Caribou and our team have been interested in this corner for some time,” said Paul Maenner with MW Development. With a great deal of planning and work with the landscape architect and city staff, he said the company has come up with a good solution for the site.
“We’re very excited about this project; it’s an excellent piece of real estate,” Maenner said.
Under a purchase agreement finalized in June. the city will sell the 13,243 square-foot parcel for $95,000 plus closing costs.
The Caribou location will be an 1,800 square-foot coffee shop with a drive through.
But that drive through did require a variance from the council because it will be located between the building and the street, which is in opposition to the design standards that have been set for this part of the city.
To improve the look, the developer plans to screen the drive through with landscaping as well as interpretive signage depicting historical information about the city, which can be read from the sidewalk.
Mayor Phil Rice said he was pleased the city and the developer were able to come up with an attractive solution for the drive-through.
“As we said, we do not want a drive through on the street side. Then we look at this and say, that works perfectly well,” he said. “So some of the variance is maybe out of some of our dreams and wishes that were maybe misplaced when we look at certain businesses and the way that they work.”
Several council members shared their excitement about the transformation of a corner that was once an eyesore.
Councilmember Mark Freeburg said he is happy the city bought the property on the corner for redevelopment.
“We’ve got a great bank there and now Caribou is going to come in,” he said. “I’m excited.”
MW Development is also buying some land from U.S. Bank in order to make the site plan work.
Maenner said that while they had hoped to start construction in the fall and have the Caribou store open in November, those plans are being delayed.
“These are intricate little buildings and they take a lot of planning to put together in as efficient a way possible,” Maenner said.
Instead, construction will begin when the frost comes out of the ground in the spring, with anticipation of being open for the summer season, according to Maenner.
Mandy Moran Froemming is at [email protected]