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Plan proposed for Tim Hortons on Elmwood

A vacant plaza at Elmwood and Hinman avenues would be demolished to make room for a new Tim Hortons under a plan the city is being asked to approve.

Officials from the coffee and doughnut shop chain confirmed Monday that they hope to build the $700,000 outlet on the northwest corner of Elmwood and Hinman, just south of Kenmore Avenue.

A design plan has been filed with the Planning Board, which will hold a public hearing on the proposal at 8:15 a.m. July 5.

Tim Hortons has 173 outlets in Western New York and across the Pennsylvania border, including 57 self-serve locations in Tops Markets. There are also about two dozen in Fort Erie, Port Colborne and Niagara Falls, Ont.

What factors spurred the company to propose a new outlet in North Buffalo?

"The reasons we picked the Elmwood location were the area's strong residential and daytime population, commuter traffic and the retail in the immediate area," Louis J. Terragnoli Jr., the chain's real estate director, said in a written statement.

Joseph Golombek Jr., the Common Council member who represents the North Buffalo neighborhood, described the plan as a "pretty good project," noting that developers recently met with a citizens group known as the Black Rock-Riverside Good Neighbor Planning Alliance. The North District Council member said the coalition, which represents numerous neighborhoods in his district, reacted favorably to the project.

"The concerns are primarily about traffic congestion. But in a way, that's a good problem to have," Golombek said. "When you get new development, these are things that happen."

The new coffee shop will have two ordering lanes to ease congestion for drive-through customers, according to the design plan.

Charles Carey owns a home on Hinman Avenue east of Elmwood Avenue. After learning about the Tim Hortons project Monday, he expressed concerns about litter and late-night noise.

"We already have a problem with litter on our lawns from the Wendy's that's over there," Carey told The Buffalo News.

The burger chain operates a restaurant at 2222 Elmwood Ave., south of Kenmore Avenue.

Company officials confirmed that the Tim Hortons will be open 24 hours. The stretch of Hinman between Elmwood and Delaware already encounters a lot of traffic, Carey said.

"Can we count on a police presence if there's a lot of noise?" he asked. "We're in a very quiet neighborhood."

There are already several Tim Hortons near the proposed site, including a shop at Delaware Avenue south of Hertel Avenue and one inside Tops on Elmwood Avenue south of Hinman.

The Planning Board will review design elements and other issues on July 5. The developer has promised to provide more details about landscaping and to address the need for a fence, said Daniel Blamowski of PB Americas Inc., which is providing engineering consulting services to Tim Hortons.

The plan calls for trees, shrubs and other landscaping that will create green space on 21 percent of the site. City regulations require green space on at least one-fifth of development sites.

There also will be bicycle racks outside the shop.

Construction will take about three months from the time city approvals are obtained. Blamowski said the goal is to open the new outlet by the end of the year.

e-mail: bmeyer@buffnews.com

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