People in north Lincoln can thank a medical practice in part for their new Starbucks.
Kent Thompson, the developer who brought Starbucks and local healthy food restaurant Source. Eat. Fit. to the Autumn Ridge Plaza north of 27th and Superior streets, said he was looking for something that would attract more doctors to the area.
Thompson said Autumn Ridge Medicine, which leases a building from him, was having trouble attracting doctors to the practice "because they all live south," he said.
He said he knew the practice was very successful, and he wondered what he could do to help drive more traffic to the area.
Despite being a busy commercial area that is home to large retailers such as Walmart, Sam's Club, Slumberland, Hy-Vee, Gordmans and Famous Footwear, Thompson said he felt the area lacked some amenities.
"This part of town always struck me as being underserved," he said.
Thompson said he targeted the coffee giant for a number of reasons, including the fact that it produces a consistent product and that there was nothing similar all the way north to Interstate 80.
He said he convinced the company that it was a good spot, close to the interstate with plenty of traffic generators such as schools and other employers.
After securing a lease with Starbucks, Thompson said he still had a spare piece of land, so he approached the owners of Source. Eat. Fit., a local restaurant that sells prepared healthy meals.
Source. Eat. Fit. has two other locations, both of which are in south Lincoln; one is at 17th Street and Pine Lake Road, and the other is at 70th Street and Pioneers Boulevard.
Thompson said he saw the restaurant as a "good fit" for the area.
Both Starbucks and Source. Eat. Fit. opened earlier this year in their own standalone buildings, with drive-throughs side-by-side in the middle.
It's different than the traditional retail strip mall where businesses lease bays in one building, and it's something Thompson said he hasn't done before. But he said he's pleased with the result.
"We are really happy with how the architecture turned out," he said.