Whirlyball recently announced plans to open a new location on Odyssey Avenue in northwest Naperville.
But first, Naperville City Council had some questions about parking at the site.
“I think that with the opportunity for the owner to sell off that other piece and bring in another entertainment or some sort of restaurant, I just think we’re going to have parking congestion,” said Councilwoman Rebecca Boyd-Obarski. “I’d like to see us appropriately parked to start. We have the opportunity to do that right from the beginning.”
While the city’s zoning code requires entertainment centers of Whirlyball’s proposed size to have 177 spaces, Adam Elias, the company’s vice president of strategic planning, argued their situation is different.
“We are very event-driven,” said Elias. “Organizations that are coming to us, companies are bringing their people typically by bus or limousine, things of that nature. Also if you’re having a birthday party you’re getting into a car with a group of friends and travel, which is why our traffic counts can be a lot lower than a group like TopGolf.”
City staff said they did include language in the ordinance stating if parking becomes an issue, Whirlyball will need to adjust its operations to fix it. For example, allowing fewer large parties during peak hours.
Though Boyd-Obarski and Mayor Steve Chirico voted against the parking ordinance, the vote passed 7-2 and there was unanimous support for the rest of the plan for the site.
The Naperville Whirlyball facility will also include bowling, lasertag, a restaurant, and an outdoor patio.
The northwest corner of Naperville is quickly becoming the city’s entertainment district. Whirlyball would be joining Topgolf and Odyssey Fun World, along with a proposed arena and indoor ice center in the area.
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.
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