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College Corners, ‘that’ coffee brand get Rock Hill green light

The corner of Cherry Road and Charlotte Avenue in Rock Hill includes the current location of the BP gas station, Pub House and Universal Financial Services.
The corner of Cherry Road and Charlotte Avenue in Rock Hill includes the current location of the BP gas station, Pub House and Universal Financial Services.

College students and other residents near Cherry Road could soon have another location to drink ... a particular brand of coffee.

The Rock Hill City Council this week gave its permission to a potential “College Corners” development on Cherry Road, just up the road from the Winthrop University campus The newly rezoned property between Charlotte Avenue and College Avenue is expected to host a restaurant location and a planned drive-through coffee shop.

The exact tenants of the new building planned by Morgan Property Group of Charlotte were not identified before the council approved the zoning change, but even council members and staff have an idea which coffee chain might show up on Cherry Road.

When some council worried one, unnamed coffee shop brand could increase the amount of traffic on the largely residential streets running alongside the property, Planning Director Bill Meyer had an answer ready.

“That brand is already out by the interstate,” Meyer told council, a reference to the Starbucks location on Celanese Road near Interstate 77. “This is more for the folks downtown.”

Tentatively called “College Corners” in a filing with the city’s planning office last summer, plans even then mentioned a Starbucks. The new development would displace an existing BP gas station, the Pub House bar, and Universal Financial Services, a personal finance office.

At a city Planning Commission meeting in March, the developer also received approval to include a student-oriented rental home on College Avenue in its site plans, removing a notch in the rear property line of the development. An 8-foot tall wall will separate homes on the rear of the property from drive-through traffic.

This may not be the last development on Cherry Road. In December, the council approved rezoning of the former Coca-Cola Bottling building across College Avenue from the College Corners site. Now owned by Winthrop University, the building’s new zoning allows it to be sold for future commercial use.

Bristow Marchant: 803-329-4062, @BristowatHome

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