Editorial: Starbucks’ success lies in finding solution to access woes at 260-89A

The proposed Cottonwood Starbucks on the southwest corner of Arizona 260 and Arizona 89A; the view from 260 looking in a north westerly direction. Image courtesy of Cottonwood Planning and Zoning

The proposed Cottonwood Starbucks on the southwest corner of Arizona 260 and Arizona 89A; the view from 260 looking in a north westerly direction. Image courtesy of Cottonwood Planning and Zoning

It’s beginning to look like the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce is finally going to be able to sell its property located at the busy SR 260 and SR 89A intersection and the community will get a Starbucks coffee shop in the process.

If we are lucky, we’ll also get a solution to the entrance and exit mess that made the location so problematic for the Chamber of Commerce.

As Chamber President/CEO Christian Oliva del Rio told The Verde Independent in July 2017, “We had so many visitors that told us that they’ve driven right past us because they couldn’t figure out how to get in. It’s a bad intersection.”

Also during the past year, the Cottonwood City Council identified the 89A-260 intersection as “the No. 1 transportation priority in the Verde Valley.”

Because this intersection represents the confluence of two state highways, there is probably always going to be traffic congestion at this crossroads. From two different directions, it is, after all, the primary entrance to Cottonwood.

So, naturally, each of the four corners at this intersection are prime for commercial development. Three of the four already are.

Now, should Starbucks be successful negotiating the political waters of the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council, there will be commercial interests occupying all four corners of this busy intersection.

You have to think Starbucks has thought this thing through thoroughly. You also have to think its company brass already has met with officials from the Arizona Department of Transportation to find a better way of getting people in an out of the business. It’s not like they are going to set up shop in a location that is a nightmare for folks to access.

In the end, this could be a win-win for everyone involved. The chamber gets to sell its property. Cottonwood gets a (second?) Starbucks. And, finally, after all these years, we find a solution to the entrance-exit mess that plagued the Chamber for so many years.

Really, there is no other choice. This Starbucks project will be a success with a solution to the traffic problem.

Anything less and this project won’t see the light of day.

-- Dan Engler


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tbabbitt 7 months, 2 weeks ago

That was the perfect place for a 'chamber of commerce' and no doubt payed a role in it's successes. Now another stupid franchise wants in and 'trickle down' Cottonwood wants to spend the public money on their wants. I will remind everyone that the purpose of the Mingus - Cornville road connection was to alleviate congestion at the 260 interchange. How many more neighborhoods are you willing to sacrifice for tourists and businesses.


AaronMP 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I sincerely hope the same rules applied to the proposed Dutch Bros shop in the Food City complex are applied consistently to Starbucks as well. P&Z rejected Dutch Bros initial building plans over concerns about it being a “cookie-cutter concept” and its potential to increase traffic near the driveway entrances. Fast forward a couple months and Starbucks, about as cookie-cutter and corporate as they come, wants to do the same, but by an order of magnitude larger.
I can't see how anything they could come up with would be a net positive for the intersection. As it is, getting out of Home Depot or the Fry's plaza is the most dangerous traffic navigation trick in the Verde Valley. How could adding congestion possibly help fix this problem? I don't know the answers, but I sure do have suspicion of some underhanded dealings if this project is ever green-lighted.
I have nothing against Starbucks, and find P&Z's obsession with fighting "cookie-cutters" absurd, but I am vehemently against the idea of anything being added near this intersection.