Starbucks seeking another Jefferson store

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The world’s largest coffee shop chain is looking to open another Starbucks along the busy Jefferson corridor.

Independence Square Starbucks LLC has applied for a building permit for a new cafe at 6707 Jefferson NE, a commercial center that is the site of a Lovelace Medical Group clinic, according to documents filed with the city’s planning department.

Starbucks is seeking to build a new, 2,025-square foot location on what is currently a vacant lot near the intersection of Jefferson and Osuna, according to the permit. HB Construction, the general contractor for the $30 million medical center, is listed as the building contractor for the new location.

Starbucks did not return requests for comment on the future status of the heavily patronized Starbucks up the street in the Journal Center Market Place.

Journal Center has yet to receive any formal communication from Starbucks about closing the store at Market Place, but is aware of the chain’s plans to open a new shop at Independence Square, said Lowell Hare, president and CEO of Journal Center Corp. The term of the current lease with Starbucks ends in 2023. Should Starbucks terminate its lease early, Market Place at Journal Center is confident it will quickly secure a replacement tenant, Hare said.

The development team behind Independence Square is moving forward on building two retail pads, and targeting businesses needing drive-through lanes, Scott Throckmorton, principal of Argus Investment Realty, has told the Journal. He estimated development costs for the retail construction in the $5 million range.

The java giant has been embracing the drive-through lane. Eighty percent of all its new U.S. cafes will have them, the company recently announced.

Starbucks has repositioned existing stores in its Albuquerque market with the highly coveted drive-through option.

The coffee retailer will undoubtedly be drawn to the significant traffic generated by Lovelace, which employs several hundred people as well as serving over 200 visitors a day. Calvary Church, one of the area’s largest church facilities with daily activities, is another source of future customers.