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Starbucks leaving I-95 travel plazas

A Board of Public Works vote will cost some Maryland drivers their grande cups of Pike Place Roast and venti Caramel Macchiatos.

Areas USA Inc., the winning bidder in a Maryland Transportation Authority project to renovate two Interstate 95 travel plazas, does not have a relationship with Starbucks. The contract’s losing bidder, HMSHost — which currently manages the travel plazas — could have delivered the coffee retailer, said Steven L. Johnson, an HMSHost executive vice president.

Areas has said Dunkin’ Donuts and Caribou Coffee will be tenants in the Maryland House, in Harford County, and Chesapeake House, in Cecil County.

State Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp, who joined Gov. Martin O’Malley in voting for the contract award to Areas, said during the meeting that she had been to Areas travel plazas in Europe, and left thinking that “a rest stop plaza is a rest stop plaza.”

But Johnson took issue with the treasurer’s assertion.

“I completely disagree with that,” Johnson said. “These [HMSHost’s] buildings were the buildings of the future … [the Areas buildings are] kind of futuristic, but in 20 years you’re going to want to tear it down.”

One comment

  1. With this vote made by Democratic policitians, O’Malley and Kopp, we can ask: “Okay now, just how much money is being contributed to the Democratic party by winner or its corprate officers?