Trader Joe’s soon could have some new neighbors.
Wellington’s village council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve two changes that pave the way for a Starbucks and medical offices in the Village Green Center shopping plaza on the northwest corner of Stribling Way and State Road 7.
Applicants W & W V LLC — related to Wellington-based Ward Real Estate — requested two items: a comprehensive plan amendment to add medical offices as an approved use for a yet-to-be-built outparcel on the northwest corner of the property and reduce the overall square-footage of the project; and a development order amendment to allow a building with a drive-through Starbucks and retail space instead of the previously approved bank on the southeast corner of the property.
In addition to Trader Joe’s, Village Green Center is home to shops and restaurants including a Comcast store, PDQ restaurant, Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Capitol Lighting, and dental and insurance offices. It also is the future home of Cleveland Clinic, which is slated to open this spring at the north end of the plaza.
With the village council’s approval of both requests, the size of the project shrinks from about 137,000 square feet to about 111,000 square feet. The Starbucks will have an attached retail space, according to the plans presented to the council. This was the council’s second and final review of the comprehensive plan amendment, and only vote on the development order amendment.
Allowing a Starbucks with one drive-through lane instead of a bank with two drive-through lanes is a “logical conversion of this site,” village project manager Kelly Ferraiolo said. She noted that the property’s owner unsuccessfully tried to find a bank to build there for the past five years.
Donaldson Hearing of Cotleur & Hearing said having the ability to offer medical office space in the previously approved three-story, 31,000-square-foot office building on the north end of the property makes sense.
“Cleveland Clinic will be located immediately adjacent to the office building,” he said. Wellington is becoming “a medical center of excellence,” he added, with NuVista skilled-nursing facility, Wellington Regional Medical Center and Palms West Hospital nearby, and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital under construction to the south on State Road 7.
“We think that having additional medical use here just adds to that synergy and that energy that we’re seeing along the corridor today,” Hearing said.
Mayor Anne Gerwig questioned how the Starbucks is laid out, and if there would be enough room for a line to form. Village Planning, Zoning and Building Director Bob Basehart said there will be adequate space so issues like those seen with daily lines forming at the Dunkin’ Donuts at Wellington Trace and Forest Hill Boulevard do not occur.
Greenbriar Park work: Work to build new open-play fields near the Wellington Dog Park will begin earlier than previously expected as the council voted unanimously Tuesday night to shift $2.5 million from one park project to another. The money — part of Wellington’s share of the 1-cent sales tax approved by Palm Beach County voters in 2016 — will come from plans to redo South Shore Park, the location of the old Boys and Girls Club on South Shore Boulevard south of Pierson Road.
Plans for Greenbriar Park — the former location of Wellington’s tree farm — include four multi-use fields, a concession area, restrooms and stormwater retention areas. The dog park and sand volleyball court will remain. Village administrative and financial services director Tanya Quickel said moving the money will not slow down work on South Shore Park. “We are reallocating the same surtax funds between these two projects so they will move on a parallel path,” she said.
Each park is estimated to cost $5 million over several years.
Temporary easement for intersection work: The vote also was unanimously in favor of a temporary easement on the southwest corner of Forest Hill and Southern boulevards for the Florida Department of Transportation to perform work at the intersection. Work on the project is slated to start next year and includes adding a continuous right-turn lane from northbound Forest Hill onto eastbound Southern and a third westbound left-turn lane from Southern onto Forest Hill.
Honoring a volunteer: The village council honored Wellington resident Terri Priore, whose work as a volunteer in local schools earned her the honor of Adult Volunteer of the Year from the Palm Beach County School District. “I’ve been a part of this community since the 1990s and I’ve enjoyed volunteering my time for the community and for the schools,” Priore said.