As you drive up Roosevelt Road from the east and pass Baker Hill, the view is much different than it was a few months ago. The new drive-thru Panera at 799 Roosevelt Road in Glen Ellyn was approved on February 15 and now residents can finally see proof of that as two offices buildings have been demolished to make way at the Roosevelt Glen corporate center. The other five office buildings will remain for now (currently at 60 percent occupancy), but the lot next to the new Panera is still unaccounted for.
While we don’t know for sure who the mystery occupant next door will be, there are rumors that it will be a new CVS. There is no timetable published on Glen Ellyn’s Current Development Projects page for when the project will be complete, but according to the February 1st minutes both the Panera and the mystery building should be completed around the same time. The minutes also further clarify that the second building will be single tenant retail.
The only lot that has been approved to this point is the Panera site, and according to Mary Loch, Chairman of the Plan Commission, “public hearings will be held regarding future tenants at the site and the Village Board would have to approve those tenants.”
This was good news to some concerned residents who worried about the project being approved without knowing exactly who the occupants of the other lots would be. Some residents of the adjacent Kingsbrook Glen townhomes are also concerned with potentially increased traffic and traffic noise, leading to decreased property values as a result. Part of the problem is that there will be no westbound exit onto Roosevelt Road, which may lead to more traffic on Nicholl Way and Pershing. The proposed access point from Roosevelt Road is a right-in/right-out turn lane, in addition to a separate right-out lane onto Roosevelt.
However, property values at Kingsbrook Glen may actually go up for numerous reasons, beyond simply the convenience this development may provide. Part of the agreement the Village has with the developer, Clark Street Real Estate, is that they will provide a new sidewalk that will wrap all the way around Roosevelt, Pershing and Nicholl Way. According to Plan Commissioner Heming-Littwin, there will also be more green space than ever was there before. In addition, according to Glen Ellyn Planning and Development Director Staci Hulseberg, all added traffic that would be generated by this development has been reviewed by a traffic consultant.
“It was recommended and confirmed by the village’s traffic consultant that the existing configuration is fine. What’s being proposed will actually generate less traffic than what was existing should it be fully occupied. It could easily accommodate the proposed traffic.” – mysuburbanlife.com
The big question remaining is, when will this all be done? Without a known second tenant though, the best answer to that is unfortunately “not anytime soon.”
When it is finally complete, one hidden benefit may be that the line into the nearby Starbucks drive-thru will actually decrease a bit and stop backing up traffic onto Roosevelt. I know I can’t wait to pick up some delicious Panera hazelnut coffee to go, and hopefully more than a few others feel the same.