A four-tenant commercial building is slated for construction on an outlot within Naperville’s commercial corridor along Ogden Avenue, with two restaurants already signed on as tenants.
The city Planning and Zoning Commission gave its recommendation at its latest meeting to a series of conditions for an 8,300-square-foot building within the Eastgate Outlot of the development at 1199-1299 E. Ogden Ave. The parcel is near H Mart and Dollar Tree.
Two New Restaurants
James Sean Devine with developer Norcor Naperville Associates LLC announced the two confirmed tenants at the meeting. Both are growing fast-casual eateries that have a presence in the metro Chicago area.
“These are signed tenants,” Devine said. “These are ones we have a lease for.”
Naansense, a fast-casual restaurant featuring Indian-inspired cuisine, is one of the restaurants pegged for the site. Co-owners Hiran and Viral Patel had been operating a pair of restaurants in Chicago, but closed both locations at the onset of the pandemic.
The eatery has since emerged at a new Chicago Loop location within the city and is branching out into the suburbs with the planned Naperville spot, as well as a new location in Oak Brook.
Kura Sushi, which has a location in Schaumburg, is the other named tenant within the Eastgate Outlot. The business, which has a total of 37 locations across the U.S., garnered the most discussion at the recent commission meeting because tentative plans include a drive-thru.
As is the case in many municipalities, Naperville’s zoning code includes provisions for detailed reviews of drive-thrus, in part because of the impact they can have with traffic coming and going from the venue.
Devine said Kura Sushi plans for the drive-thru to function as a pick-up window for advance orders, rather than a traditional drive up and order type window. These sorts of windows, he said, proved popular during the height of pandemic protocols. A dedicated exterior spot for motorists to pick up their food with ease would supplement the overall operations plan, he said.
However, Devine pushed back on the notion a drive-thru lane in the Kura Sushi space would have a sizable impact on the surrounding parking lot and beyond. He said about 10% of the company’s revenues are generated from to-go orders.
“This isn’t a run-of-the-mill sushi restaurant,” Devine said. “The appeal is to go in the restaurant. It’s really a core component of their operation.”
Devine noted that the restaurant would feature touch panel ordering, a rotating sushi bar, and delivery robots.
Two Open Slots
At this time, Devine said there are no announcements of the other two tenants within the proposed Eastgate Outlot. The intent, he said, is for traditional retail businesses to be housed in both spaces to compliment the pair of signed restaurants.
After years under the radar at the hands of abandoned or underutilized buildings, the Ogden Avenue properties under the microscope have undergone a resurgence in recent years.
The project was punctuated with a new Costco constructed at the site of a former Kmart. When the wholesale retailer announced its plans for the Ogden Corridor in 2020, Mayor Steve Chirico touted it as a mechanism for spurring additional development in that area.
Commissioner Bruce Hanson, who chairs the Planning and Zoning Commission, said he was pleased with the latest sets of plans. “We appreciate all the changes,” Hanson said. “It looks great over there.”
The commissioners’ recommendation now goes to city council for consideration.
For Naperville News 17, Dave Fidlin reports.
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