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Property between Lewiston and Main will be more than just a Tim Horton's

A Tim Horton's is only the first phase of planned development for a parcel of property wedged in between Lewiston Road, Main Street and Colonial Boulevard, the developer revealed Tuesday night at a Town of Batavia Planning Board meeting.

Besides the coffee shop, Benderson Development Co. plans to erect a retail building and a drive-thru ATM location.

No tenants have been found for those uses, yet, said Matthew J. Oates (photo), the company's chief engineer, but the company didn't want to surprise planners later, after Horton's is approved -- assuming it is -- with an expanded development.

Kathy Jasinski, board chairwoman, said the town only found out about the planned additional uses on Monday.

Benderson has recently completed a traffic study covering the anticipated impact of both Tim Horton's and the proposed retail location and those results were turned over Monday to the town and the DOT for analysis.

Town Engineer Steve Mountain said that traffic study will be given to the town's traffic consultant for review.

Traffic was one of the chief concerns raised by town residents, primarily those on Colonial Boulevard, who attended Tuesday's public hearing on the Tim Horton's plan.

Lewiston and Main is already a congested intersection and traffic patterns down Main Street can make it difficult, Colonial Boulevard residents said, to get on and off their street.

What that traffic impact will be and how any problems might be mitigated remains an open question until both the town's consultant and the DOT complete an analysis of the traffic study.

The board made no decision about the planned development, but did begin the process of declaring itself the lead agency for environmental review purposes.

Residents also expressed concern about light and noise coming from the 24-hour operation.

Amy DiSalvo said her house is right next to the proposed Tim Horton's location and she's concerned about parking lot light spilling over onto her property as well as headlights shining on her house.

Oates said the position of the building will act as a buffer for headlights and noise for Colonial Boulevard residents, and Bob Bender, real estate project planner for Tim Horton's, said the project will use "dark sky lights," which will have zero spill over onto adjacent property.

Bruce Jackson
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Is there not a Tim Horton's Cafe planned for the when Batavia Downs Casino moves downstairs?

Why would a business put another franchise so close an already planned one?

Jason Crater
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Tim Horton's in the Batavia Downs would only be a draw to customers already in the casino. I'm quite certain that Tim Horton's pulls a significant portion of its revenue through drive-through service.

A Tim Horton's on Lewiston/Main and one in the casino would be attracting entirely different customer bases.

Fred GUNDELL
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Thats not the thought. Why does Batavia need three Tim Hortons within a five mile area??

Elizabeth Downie
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They really must want to keep up with the number of pizzerias and salons and spas... LOL!

Linda Knox
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We currently have three Subway shops within a five mile radius: E. Main St., Tops Plaza, and inside Walmart. I've visited all three stores on various occassions and all appear sustainable. As already mentioned, different demographics will be drawn to each location.

Fred GUNDELL
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My guess is that the one downtown will close. Just a guess. But the commercial developement of Batavia is certainly limited to pizzas and tanning salons isn't it?

Fred GUNDELL
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Maybe a Starbucks in Petco would compete with the Starbucks in Target??

Robert Brown
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Correct Bruce and good question. No Jason, the customer demographics overlap and another Timmy's just steals from the existing coffee business along Main St. starting with McD's heading east. Right Fred!

We have existing vacant buildings in the area - use that space first. This wedge of redundant business is poor planning - whatever "sustainable" business this location generates is simply taking away from existing businesses. More drive-thru business is not what we should be encouraging either. Get some businesses that we don't currently have (i.e., places we currently drive to ROC or BUF to frequent), get businesses that draw people to Batavia, and get businesses that make things we can sell outside the community.

Jason Crater
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Well said, Howard.

Chad Zambito
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Well stated Howard.

Jeff Allen
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Howard, you are 100% correct on the free enterprise. To artificially control consumer demand through regulation is to cut off your nose to spite your face. Unfortunately there have been enough negative experiences that it makes one skeptical of long term benefit. Lowes did their due demographic study and decided that they could compete in Batavia. Sales proved that they could but even though the store turned a profit, corporate executives decided that the store no longer fit their growth model and Batavia is left with a large box store shell that I'm sure is difficult to lease. In this economic climate, it is about as risky as it has ever been for a small entrepreneur to take the risk of pioneering a new business venture. For a corporation, it is a far smaller risk that allows them to give it a shot and if it doesn't work out, pull up your signs, write it off, and move on.

John Roach
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Look around the Rt 5 (Main Street), Transit Rd, and Sheridan Drive area. There are a good number of Tim Hortons and other coffee shops that all seem to be doing well. Why is that people always think nothing can work in our area?

As for the idea of using existing buildings, not many have both parking and drive thru ability.

mike nixon
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What about a book store, with a coffee and danish shop. Every time we want to go to a book store, we head east or west. Just a thought, nothing fancy, small borders or a barnes would be great. Maybe even a business model that resembles those bigger box formats, with small town flare.

Jason Crater
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Good idea Mike. I'd support it after you open.

Thomas Schneider
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The exit onto 63 needs to be right turn only and the median should be extended to discourage left turns from Tops or Tim Horton's. This intersection is very dangerous.

mike nixon
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tell you what, its been in the back of my mind for awhile. I watched those buildings in the Target plaza go empty for so long. That would have been a great place.

John Roach
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Mike,
Borders bookstore chain went bankrupt and Barnes and Noble stores are struggling.

Want a book with coffee, try our local Richmond Library. We also have a good bookstore, called Present Tense, on Washington Ave.

Ron C Welker
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Right on John! and let one of the other newbees be TGI Friday's.

mike nixon
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didnt know it was there. wheres the library?

kevin kretschmer
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Here's to hoping the newest "Tim Horton's" will be owned by the gentleman running the Warsaw store. I prefer Tim Horton's coffee to start with but every cup I've ever had from there (several times a week) has been perfect and their customer service skills could be used as the example for industry standard.

Speaking of favorite chain restaurants, WHEC confirmed yesterday that "Golden Corral" is coming to Henrietta next year. Joyous day!

Mark Potwora
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Maybe Tim Horton's wants to build in the town of Batavia to take advantage of their zero tax rate....

John Woodworth JR
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The Golden Corral? No way, I went through the VA Police Academy in North Little Rock, Arkansas and our dinners were there every night. I do not ever want to see another Golden Corral, lol. It was okay for the first two weeks then it became old.

Batavia could use a new cinema (preferably a 10 screen and one that can compete with the comfort and amenities of the theaters in Buffalo and Rochester area.) I would love to have Pattaya’s Thai Restaurant open here. Mostly I would love to have something here to keep kids busy and occupied rather than them walking the streets causing problems.

Tom Guentner
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I personally think Dunkin Donuts should abandon its current lousey location & take the proposed site of the new Timmy Ho's......

Bruce Jackson
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Well said by all, but with me not being a resident of the area and just working here, I would only be able to give an outside looking in viewpoint. That being said, why does not anyone point out the fact that the only two major options to grocery food shopping is Tops and Walmart. Why is Wegman's not an active supplier in this area? The empty Lowes store would be a perfect location for this.

kevin kretschmer
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Batavia and the immediate surrounding area in the wrong target demo for Wegman's. The BIC are whatever organization that makes these appeals would be better served initiating talks with Dash's Markets out of Buffalo. Although their stores are somewhat smaller they are upscale and have all the bells and whistles you'd find in any of the newer Wegman's.

Billie Owens
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Don't forget we have a new Sav-A-Lot in Batavia and it has good prices.

C. M. Barons
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Why Wegmans or any other chain? How about a Marchese's?

Robert Brown
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Right on John!

Robert Brown
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And that's where planning comes in. How many empty boxes do we need to endure in this city/town?

Robert Brown
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No, the obvious answer is we do not NEED 3 Timmy's. The question isn't whether or not 3 Timmy's will be sustainable, it's what the impact will be with yet another redundant shop - it's clearly not a value add and though it may possibly survive, it will likely do so at someone else's expense. Yes, competition is part of the game - there are no safety nets. But if tax money is going toward this new development, there is a good argument against it. It's not filling a gap in our local economy. Of course someone can decide to take a risk and open a business - how someone spends/invests his/her own cash is a personal choice. That's really not the issue either. Do we really want NEW development for redundant business that eliminates landscape, increases traffic congestion, and further pollutes that portion of the city (drive-thru business has negative ecological impact)? And what are all the tax/grant implications of this proposed new development? Is tax money being used for the development? Are tax breaks being given to the developer and/or tenants?

There's no presumptuous statements in the initial comments - we pay money for planning boards, economic development, etc... What are they doing with that money? We have all sorts of zoning laws and ordinances - thus the initial environmental impact study. Our elected officials control tax incentives, grants, etc... - they do serve as "control" mechanisms. But control isn't what this is about either.

It's about vision. What do we citizens want our community to look like. How do we want it to function? Do we want more of the dismantling of downtown? Do we want more rip it down, build an eyesore of a mall with a chunk of ugly metal in front and watch it go largely underutilized forever? Do we care about the air we breathe and the ambiance of our community?

Free enterprise is great, but it also comes with responsibility. Just because a developer has a dream and can make a few bucks at our collective expense doesn't mean he/she has free reign to leave mountains of emptiness behind in his/her wake. Anything getting a tax break or a taxpayer funded grant should require occupancy clauses - X amount of time to full occupancy, percent occupancy requirements, and financial penalties or increased tax rates for failing to meet requirements. How about you get a tax break for X amount of time per square foot of occupied space - the rest is taxed at the current established rate? Our community should not absorb the risks involved for new development gambling. We'd do better playing at the casino where there is already a Timmy's in the house.

Jason Post
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I haven't see this remarked upon, so I think I'll say it. In the past few months I have been by the downtown Tim Horton's both in the morning and around lunch time. At both times, the drive-thru traffic wraps halfway around the building and the foot traffic stretches from the counter all the way out the front door. If one location is that thoroughly swamped at peak hours, I strongly suspect two locations could find enough customers to keep themselves in business. It would seem Tim Horton's agrees, or else they certainly wouldn't be working on building a new location here.

John Roach
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Remember when government officals/planners decided to deny Dr. Chess the opportunity to buy 5 long vacant stores in the mall that had been taken for taxes? Some Council members and the city Economic Coordinator at the time said they did not want redundant businesses in the mall. They knew what businesses would be best for us and the mall. After repeated attempts to buy the property by Dr. Chess (the only person who ever offered to buy them), he gave up. Nobody else would buy them, so the City ended up having to tear them down and built an over sized City Hall.

That's an example of what happens when you let government officals pick and chose which businesses should be allowed to open.

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