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Planning Commission backs plan for Starbucks location in southeast Mitchell

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Shown here is the parcel of land where the proposed Starbucks location is planned to be constructed in Mitchell along South Burr Street next to Perkins Family Restaurant. The Planning and Zoning Commission approved the plan on Monday, which means the Mitchell City Council will vote on the plan Oct. 5. (Sam Fosness / Republic)

Mitchell is one step closer to welcoming its first-ever standalone Starbucks location after the city Planning and Zoning Commission approved the plan at Monday’s meeting.

The world’s largest coffee shop is seeking to build a store at 1321 S. Burr St., which has been the site of a long-time car sales lot just south of Perkins Restaurant. The plan entails constructing a 2,350-square-foot coffee shop that could be finished and ready to open by late December of this year. With the Planning Commission’s unanimous approval on Monday, the city of Mitchell will now decide whether to issue a building permit in the near future.

Kansas-based Batis Development is the real estate company that’s planning to build the coffee shop along the South Burr Street location. Batis Midstates LLC recently purchased the land from Auto Mart Mitchell Inc. at a price of $430,000. The land was the former site of B&D Automart, a car lot that had two distinctive green carports on the property that were recently removed to make way for the Starbucks location.

Mark Wittenburg, owner of Batis Development Company, spoke to the Planning Commission on behalf of the Starbucks plan. He highlighted the Starbucks corporation has expressed interest in breaking into smaller and mid-sized markets like Mitchell.

“Their approach that we have been following is that they need to start doing some of these smaller to mid-markets, and that they can be a cornerstone in these communities,” Wittenburg said. “Mitchell is a town that we believe in, and we are going to do our best to be a good landlord in your community.”

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According to the design plans, the store would feature a drive-thru that wraps around the south and east sides of the building. In addition, a patio area and indoor seating, with a total of 80 seats and 27 parking stalls, is part of the design plan.

Speaking to the building layout and design, Wittenburg said it will be prefabricated and could take up to four days to complete.

“We want to get it in this winter and get control of the site… Then we can put in the parking lot, and if we can do that I think we have a really good shot at getting the store finished this year,” Wittenburg said. “But then Starbucks needs about 90 days to do their build out of the interior.”

As of today, Mitchell has one location with Starbucks coffee. While Dakota Wesleyan University’s Tiger Cafe located in the McGovern Library has served Starbucks coffee since 2018, the company doesn’t consider it to be a store location. Starbucks has more than 32,000 stores around the world, and over 15,000 in the United States. Roughly half of them are franchise locations.

In South Dakota, there are standalone Starbucks locations in four larger-sized cities, with stores in Sioux Falls, Watertown, Aberdeen and Rapid City. However, there are dozens more kiosk locations in grocery stores and on college campuses in communities such as Yankton, Brookings, Vermillion, Spearfish and Deadwood.

Starbucks arrival would add to the already competitive coffee shop scene in Mitchell, which has several local shops and coffee chain stores.

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In a company provided photo, Starbucks drinks are pictured. (Starbucks photo)

Sam Fosness joined the Mitchell Republic in May 2018. He was raised in Mitchell, S.D., and graduated from Mitchell High School. He continued his education at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, where he graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in English. During his time in college, Fosness worked as a news and sports reporter for The Volante newspaper.
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