starbucks chipotle

Planning is underway to bring both Starbucks coffee and Chipotle Mexican food businesses to a Northside Drive site in Bennington.

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BENNINGTON — The Ohio-based developer of proposed Starbucks and Chipotle outlets in Bennington has begun the local permitting process for the businesses on a Northside Drive parcel.

Jared Schiff, of Schiff Properties, said Friday that his firm has consulted with Bennington officials, and a team of design and construction partners “is making great progress on the drawings and the site plan.”

He said they’ve been getting feedback about local land use and design standards, “and we are coming up with what will be a nice project there.”

Schiff added, “Bennington is a great market; we’re excited to be there.”

The adjacent restaurants, to be located at 108 Northside Drive, will each feature drive-thru service, Schiff said, and the plan is to construct both restaurants simultaneously.

He said the typical permitting and design process for one of the businesses is about three months, and the construction phase could begin with site work in June and building construction in July. Construction normally takes two to three months, he said.

Currently on the parcel, there is a former factory building that later housed auto dealerships, which is expected to be demolished.

Schiff Properties is based in Columbus, Ohio. According to its website the firm owns and develops office buildings, eateries and residential developments, often working with well-known national retailers, financial or banking firms and restaurant chains.

“We are big fans of Bennington, and we’re excited to bring two great tenants [Starbucks and Chipotle] here to town,” Schiff said.

Other members of the development team, Schiff said, include Michael Joyce and MSK Engineers of Bennington; the general contractor, Marker Construction of Ohio, and red architecture + planning, based in Columbus, which works nationally with major chains like Chipotle, Burger King and Arby’s.


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Schiff Properties received good news after having an environmental inspection completed of the former Northside Drive industrial site, Schiff said. Manufacturing ceased in the 1970s and the rambling white building has been vacant for many years after its later use as an auto dealership.

Environmental consultant Paul Miller, of Bennington, did an assessment of the site, Schiff said of the 2.04-acre Northside Drive parcel, which was the original site of the former ChemFab Corp.

Miller “has been wonderful to work with,” Schiff said. “He really expedited a lot of our environmental efforts and reviewed the reports.”

The engineer also “has a lot of history and experience in dealing with this specific site,” Schiff said, adding that he assured the firm there were no outstanding environmental issues.

The ChemFab company formed and first operated at the location, beginning in 1968, before moving a decade later to a new building in North Bennington.

The company’s final owner, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, moved the fiberglass fabric coating operations to New Hampshire in 2002, and Vermont environmental officials in 2016 determined that the chemical PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) had contaminated hundreds of wells in the Bennington area.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation traced the airborne contamination to ChemFab operations, finding it was related to liquid Teflon used in the coating process, which spread through the company’s exhaust stacks.

However, Richard Spiese, an environmental analyst with the DEC, said in January, “The building was evaluated for PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, which include PFOA) and other hazardous wastes issues and found not to need any further cleanup to mitigate any issues on the property.”

The area also is served by the town water system, which was not found to be contaminated by the airborne spread PFOA contamination that affected wells in Bennington and a section of Shaftsbury.

The Northside Drive property was sold late last year by JFL Bennington Realty LLC for $799,000 to Bennington DT 1 LLC, a real estate rental/leasing firm based in Columbus. The sale was recorded with the town clerk’s office on Dec. 28.

Jim Therrien can be reached at or by phone at 413-281-2646.

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