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Noco, Tim Hortons to open at old gas station at Delaware and Amherst in Buffalo

Noco Energy Corp. got a green light Monday night to renovate and reuse an old gas station and convenience store on the corner of Delaware Avenue and Amherst Street, bringing not only its brand but also a miniature Tim Hortons to the busy intersection.

The Buffalo Planning Board approved the Tonawanda-based gas retailer’s proposal to reopen the station at 2058 Delaware. It will include a Noco Express store, as well as a 300-square-foot kiosk and drive-thru operation for Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop that will serve only coffee and donuts.

The company plans to renovate the 1,098-square-foot, single-story building in a way “similar to what it’s done in many communities in Western New York in the past,” said attorney Sean Hopkins. That will include the use of larger and newer red brick, a residential-style roof, more display glass in the front windows and a new canopy. The goal is a “much more friendlier look” that appeals more to female customers, Hopkins said.

“We’re going to take this site that’s worn and outdated, reposition it, and we think it’ll be a dramatic improvement, not only to that neighborhood, but to the city itself,” Hopkins said.

Noco will also put in a 300-foot cooler, as well as new fueling tanks consistent with state and federal environmental regulations. Landscaping will also be added.

There are already two Tim Hortons locations on Delaware Avenue, and both are quite busy. Tim Hortons wanted the supplemental site to take some pressure off the others, said Tim Boyle, vice president of real estate for Noco. And the kiosk-only operation, with no seating or dining area and available products limited to coffee and donuts, will limit potential traffic backups at the new site. Such operations typically do half the business of a regular free-standing Tim Hortons, he said, even though the hours will be the same.

Even so, the Planning Board imposed a ban on left turns from Amherst Street to prevent a backup of traffic turning into the Tim Hortons. The project still needs a restricted-use permit from the Common Council and a zoning variance for the size and total capacity of the underground storage tanks.