Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Downtown Funeral Home to be Redeveloped as Drive-through Coffee Shack

Shoot. The former Barrick Funeral Home will be redeveloped to just about the lowest common denominator.

(Not an official rendering, for illustration only)
The building will likely be demolished, not reused
The City of Salem has taken a formal application and started a site plan review for a drive-through coffee shack of the most ubiquitous brand at the corner site.

The developers are masters of drive-through coffee it seems
Because of a drive-through configuration already on the property for loading and unloading coffins and the bereaved, there wouldn't need to be any new curb cuts or much change to the access flow. The sales flier had also advertised that it was in an overlay zone that permitted a drive-through.

For the developer that's a feature.

For the rest of us, this is a regrettable bug. Downtown has no business with any new drive-through enterprises!

But there is not likely to be any legal or administrative reason not to approve the project, so we'll have to live with it.

But if we want a more vibrant, more walkable downtown, drive-through, auto-oriented coffee is not the answer.

Moreover, the coffee shack represents erosion and flight from the core downtown area. It looks like this new drive-through will effectively replace the corner store at Liberty and Chemeketa that closed last month. So we go from sidewalk-oriented to drive-through. That's a distinctly retrograde move and a missed opportunity for something more vibrant on the corner. It will reinforce the autoism of Highway 22 here.

In the end, it's not a catastrophe, but it's not progress either.


Jim Scheppke said...

Bummer. I see there is a new coffee shop going in to the old Beanery space at Courthouse Square. Sure going to be a lot of coffee shops competing for business downtown.

Cory Poole said...

Nothing is better for coffee business then more coffee businesses. I do however see this as yet another example of Salem entrenching itself deeper into car dependency. It's a shame. Salem has such a nice downtown.

Anonymous said...

I usually take the far left lane on Church and then make a left onto the Ferry St. bike lane to head to work. Yikes! I am thinking that now I'm going to have to dodge cars and distracted drivers.

Anonymous said...

I love coffee shops there's not enough of them in Salem Oregon and have to coffee shops around here $70 for a cup of stupid coffee please I can't wait for them to open up more coffee shops and be cheaper and where are the Dunkin Donuts around here in Salem

Anonymous said...

DnD left about 13 years ago and left us with the ever so nasty Daylight or Day and Night or whatever the hell hole is called on Commercial. Hard to get into, hard to get out. I get my DnD beans from Costco and grind my own now. Cheaper, and much faster! :)

Anonymous said...

This is a double whammy. Whammy one is getting another repulsive starbucks. Whammy two is that they just murdered a rare example of Streamline Moderne (although it was hidden under the cheese grader for most of its life).