Much-larger Starbucks headed to Frisco’s entryway |

Much-larger Starbucks headed to Frisco’s entryway

Janice Kurbjun
Summit Daily News

Daily file photo As its name implies, Frisco's Christmas Tree Lot has been used seasonally by a vendor of Christmas trees, but for most of the year it has sat empty and has never been developed.

A much-larger Starbucks is the anchor tenant for a proposed commercial development at what’s known as the undeveloped Frisco Christmas Tree Lot on the corner of Summit Boulevard and the Dillon Dam Road.

Landmark Realty’s Darren Nakos is representing the developer. He recently presented a sketch plan to Frisco planning commissioners that outlined the plan to build three separate commercial buildings in phases as tenants become available. The complex is located directly across Highway 9 from Safeway, and is adjacent to First Bank to the south.

The first phase is closest to the corner, and Starbucks plans to take up 2,067 square feet of that 5,967 square-foot building. The restaurant’s design includes a drive-through window and outdoor patio seating with an indoor-outdoor fireplace. Building materials include stone, stucco, wood, glass and metal in earthtones.

It’s unclear as to whether the current Starbucks further south on Summit Boulevard will be moving or if this will be an additional store. Nakos was unavailable for comment Tuesday.

The first building can handle one tenant wanting 3,900 square feet or two tenants seeking 1,800 square feet each.

There are plans to build a 6,000 square-foot Building B and an 11,000 square-foot Building C that’s divided into 4,000 and 7,000 square-foot pads. The entire property spans 2.34 acres.

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The sketch plan is a chance for planning commissioners to provide feedback to the applicant before a design proposal is submitted.

Planning commissioners voiced support for the commercial property use, but hesitated to support its architecture, saying it was too blocky and “suburban,” according to Frisco planning director Jocelyn Mills. Because it’s the entrance to Frisco, they’d like to see something that better represents Frisco’s character.

“I am thrilled that the lot will be developed, but, since this is a high-visibility ‘gateway’ and first impression to Frisco from the highway, the proposed design is not acceptable,” planning commissioner Donna Skupien wrote in an email to Mills. “It seems that they are trying to look ‘modern,’ but it looks like a ‘warehouse,’ (like) near the airport. This corner building needs to have a ‘wow’ factor!”

They also wanted to see better pedestrian access and recpath connectivity.

“Providing this path connection is an important part of improving the North Summit Boulevard area,” Frisco planner Mark Gage wrote in his memo.

Other issues to address include landscaping the parking area (other parts of the property include significant landscaping), asking the applicant to provide a three-dimensional representation of the proposal so officials can best assess its appearance, and nixing the name “Gateway Center,” as it’s already in use on West Main Street.

However, planning commissioners commended the developer’s attention to sustainable design, from landscaping to parking lot development to its energy and resource conservation elements.

In his sketch plan, Nakos wrote that the development will bring commercial development, employment opportunities and property and sales tax revenues. Growing commercial development is part of the town’s master plan, he said, adding that the development will benefit nearby hotels and residences by bringing more options to the area.

The proposed use fits with current planning and zoning codes and designations for the property.