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'Frappuccino Effect' In Emerson: New Starbucks Approved

The new Starbucks will go where a 2-family house is now located, across from the M&T Bank near the Stop & Shop shopping center on Kinderkamack Road.
The new Starbucks will go where a 2-family house is now located, across from the M&T Bank near the Stop & Shop shopping center on Kinderkamack Road. Photo Credit: Janine Scotti

EMERSON, N.J. – Emerson is getting a Starbucks, complete with a drive-through.

The 1,750-square-foot coffee stop will be built at 322 Kinderkamack Road, next to the M&T Bank, currently the site of a two-family house.

The arrival of the chic coffee chain means all good things to the borough —taxes, jobs, and a social place for people to gather, Mayor Lou Lamatina said after the borough Land Use Board approved the application Thursday night.

Not every town has a Starbucks, he said, especially one of this size.

“I like gentrification,” Lamatina said. “Some old-timers don’t necessarily like it, but we need to move the borough forward. That’s my mandate.”

Business news publications, including Quartz, have linked Starbucks locations to rising property values. This is known as “the Frappuccino effect.”

“Starbucks picks you. You don’t pick Starbucks,” the mayor said. “They look at where they think they can succeed. Property values within a quarter-mile of their locations increase more rapidly than they do outside (that radius).

“Together with the downtown redevelopment and the Kinderkamack Road improvement project, this will help revitalize the borough’s economy and bring Emerson into the 21st Century.”

Gathering places are important for a community, Lamatina added.

“You get your coffee. You get a sandwich. You sit and talk,” he said.

You also blow through: The borough changed an ordinance to accommodate the drive-through, which Starbucks required.

Although some didn't want the drive-through -- which Starbucks says accounts for 60 percent of sales -- Lamatina said he firmly believes it was the right move.

Since Kinderkamack is a county road, the county must also approve the Starbucks application. No issues are expected -- the chain included the county when it prepared its building plans, Lamatina said

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