The lawyer for owners of an office complex at Chapel Avenue and Haddonfield Road in Cherry Hill says a Starbucks and day care center proposed on the site’s parking lot are needed to help prop up a slump in tenants.
Twenty percent of the space at the Commerce Center @ Cherry Hill is not leased and while the remaining 80% of the office space is leased, not all is occupied, said Damien Del Duca of Del Duca Lewis & Berr of Haddonfield.
The owner of the nearly 13-acre property was before the Cherry Hill Zoning Board of Adjustment on Thursday night requesting a use variance for the property. While a day care center is a permitted use in the office zone, the drive-through Starbucks and attached retail space are not permitted.
Board members, who acknowledged they understood the economic challenges, overwhelmingly said at the end of the meeting that they oppose granting a use variance for the Starbucks and other retail space. One of the seven members said he agreed with the plan.
Before members voted, Del Duca asked the board to table the request to give the owner a chance to either come up with a plan that the board may approve or decide to withdraw the application. The board agreed.
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