New drive-thru coffee shop planned for High Grove Plaza in Naperville

Exterior shot of cars at Scooter's Coffee, a drive-thru coffee shop
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A new option for the morning java jolt could soon come to Naperville. A Scooter’s Coffee franchise has been proposed for an outlot within the High Grove Plaza shopping center and received a favorable review Wednesday from the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission.

The proposed Scooter’s would be a drive-thru establishment, located on the east side of Route 59 at 1931 Glacier Park Ave., in an outlot of the shopping center.

Scooter’s would join a number of other disparate businesses within High Grove, including Marshall’s, Urban Air Adventure Park and the forthcoming Freddy’s Frozen Custard, which was approved early this year.

Because of the drive-thru business format, the entire Scooter’s building would only encompass 677 square feet of space.

Its construction would require reducing the number of parking spaces in the outlot of the shopping center, which is a variance from municipal code. Commissioners gave a favorable recommendation of the plan to the city council, which will take the variance up at an upcoming meeting.

New coffee shop for the Naperville area

The first Scooter’s Coffee establishment opened 25 years ago in Nebraska. Owners have touted speedy, friendly service, as well as high-quality beverages. According to its website, the Caramelicious is its signature drink.

Scooter’s currently has about 20 locations within Illinois, primarily in the central and southern portions of the state. At the moment, there are no locations in Naperville, or surrounding communities.

Scorilo LLC is the local Scooter’s franchisee. In a memo to Naperville officials, company representatives described the Scooter’s concept as a “renowned coffeehouse.”

“What sets us apart is the fusion of top-notch coffeehouse quality with the exclusive convenience of a drive-thru format,” Scorilo representatives wrote. “We specialize in serving a wide range of hot and cold beverages, along with re-packaged breakfast food items prepared off-site.”

High Grove evolving as retail trends have changed 

Caitlin Csuk, an attorney with the law firm of Rosanova and Whitaker Ltd., spoke to commissioners on behalf of Scorilo about the rationale of constructing a Scooter’s on what currently are parking spaces within the plaza.

Since its development 25 years ago, Csuk said High Grove has gone through a number of changes that point to larger national trends. The retail-only focus within High Grove in the late 1990s has given way to a mixture of business concepts.

“To support the retail uses, we saw large surface parking lots to accommodate the patrons. Since that time, the retail industry has drastically changed,” Csuk said. “As we know, e-commerce has surged. Most of us shop from the convenience of our couches, with our phones, and we get stuff delivered the next day. With this, the general corridor and retail in general, has had to evolve as well. We’ve seen other users come in and try to keep the existing framework viable.”

Fewer parking spaces needed within development

In her presentation to commissioners, Csuk argued High Grove needs fewer parking spaces — a statement, she said, that has been backed up with traffic engineering data.

If the Scooter’s plans move forward as proposed, there will be 42 fewer parking spaces within High Grove, from the 373 stalls currently in place to 331, post-construction. Freddy’s, which also is taking an outlot space within the development, already brought reductions to the number of parking spaces, which were at 409 stalls before that project was green-lit.

Csuk said Scooter’s would not pose a challenge to available on-site parking within High Grove. A study of traffic patterns within the development revealed peak occupancy was on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Based on estimates, parking occupancy — once Freddy’s and the proposed Scooter’s are operational — within the entire development is expected to increase from 29% to 35% on Fridays, 42% to 51% on Saturdays and 33% to 41% on Sundays.

“There’s a substantial surplus of parking available on the site,” Csuk said.

Photo courtesy: Scooter’s Coffee

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