The proposed conversion of a funeral home site in South Buffalo into a new Taco Bell restaurant could be doomed after the city's Zoning Board of Appeals denied a needed variance for a drive-thru, along with several other design requests.
Kansas developer Plaza Street Partners and property owner Synergy Acquisitions, an affiliate of Amigone Funeral Home, wanted to replace the former Quinn-Amigone Funeral Home at 184 Abbott Road with a new quick-service restaurant.
The conversion would allow a Taco Bell franchise that is already sharing a building next door with KFC to split off and have its own presence on the street. Taco Bell and KFC are both owned by Yum! Brands, and have often been co-located in the past.
Plans by Davidson Architecture of Overland, Kan., called for taking down the 5,666-square-foot building on the 0.67-acre property and replacing it with a 2,100-square-foot restaurant building. However, the developers needed a variance for a drive-thru, which generates 70 percent of the business at a typical Taco Bell.
The ZBA denied the application, citing the "substantial nature of the request, the lack of financial evidence for the viability of allowable uses on the site, and the negative impact on the surrounding neighborhood," especially Marbeth Court behind the property. Seven other variances were also rejected for similar reasons.
The developers could not be reached for comment Friday.