New Taco Bell restaurant proposed for Naperville’s Ogden Avenue corridor 

Taco Bell sign atop restaurant
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A new Taco Bell restaurant — the fourth within Naperville — could soon be added to the city’s Ogden Avenue commercial corridor, based on recently announced proposal.

Daniel McGue is owner and operator of the Shamrock Company, a Hinsdale-based firm that has opened a number of Taco Bell stores in Chicago’s western suburbs for the past three decades. Shamrock would be the franchisee of the new eatery, which has been proposed for a 0.4-acre parcel located at 1019 E. Ogden Ave., between Charles and Vest avenues.

New Taco Bell nine months in the making 

Three multi-tenant buildings are currently situated on the Ogden Avenue parcel and will be razed, based on the proposal. One of the buildings is two stories, while the others are one story and considered accessory structures.

Businesses such as Naperville Interiors Upholstery and Naperville Shoes, Luggage and Tailoring have operated at the site.

McGue gave a presentation on the Taco Bell plans at a Planning and Zoning Commission meeting on Wednesday, April 17. He said he and others associated with the project have been working with city officials for the past nine months.

“We’re very excited to bring this forward,” McGue said to commissioners. “This is something that me and your team have been working on for quite some time. I’m very excited about the final product we’ve brought before you guys today.”

The Planning and Zoning Commission gave the Taco Bell project a favorable recommendation. The city council has final say on the details, and will cast its binding vote at an upcoming meeting this spring.

Five variances being sought 

The reason cited for the length of time between submitting the development application and presenting it to the Planning and Zoning Commission was the number of variances being sought within Naperville’s municipal code.

McGue’s Shamrock Company is seeking a number of special exceptions — many technical in nature. The configuration of the restaurant’s drive-thru, parking spaces and amount of landscaping are among the variances being sought.

Jeanne Armando, with MRV Architects, spoke to some of the interior and external elements of the project at the recent meeting.

“This is what works by Taco Bell standards,” Armando said of the drive-thru design. “If it is a longer stacking there, people are going to wind up having cold food.”

Speaking to some of the other requested variances, Armando said, “There’s three buildings there right now and a lot of pavement. We’re proposing to do a lot of landscaping — more than is necessary — all along the back that’s going to shield the residents, along with a 6-foot-high fence.”

Staff, commissioners offer support

Commissioner Derek McDaniel noted a favorite menu item from Taco Bell before acknowledging he had concerns that ultimately were alleviated as each of the variances were discussed in greater detail.

“I’ve got to get this out of the way — I love the Cheesy Gordita Crunch,” McDaniel said. “On a more serious note, the original concern I had was related to the five variances being requested. I wasn’t sure how to look at this. Normally, we only see two or three max variances per case.”

Naperville Community Planner Adam Beaver acknowledged the litany of variances as he presented the proposal to commissioners. In the big picture, however, he indicated Taco Bell at face value meshes with the long-term plans for the immediate area.

“Staff is supportive of each (variance) request, based on its own merit, and notes that the overall development proposal as a whole is consistent with the goals of the land use master plan and the city’s vision for the East Ogden corridor,” Beaver said.

If city council approval is granted for the Taco Bell, McGue offered a glimpse into the Ogden Avenue store’s operating hours.

“Our hours of operation average about 18 trading hours a day,” McGue said. “For this one, we’ll be open from 7 (a.m.) to midnight, and then we’ll extend later on as traffic patterns dictate.”

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