Posted: Wednesday, August 31, 2016 10:36 am | Updated: 9:50 am, Thu Sep 1, 2016.
- Posted on Aug 31, 2016
The TownePlace Suites and Starbucks café Planned Unit Development plan was passed on to the Administrative and Community Services Committee with a recommendation for approval by the Public Services Committee at Tuesday’s meeting in Edwardsville. The 2-acre property is located on the northeast corner of the intersection of IL Route 157 and Center Grove Road.
The proposal suggests there should be an all-access entrance to Starbucks only on Plummer Drive. However, the main point of discussion and concern was in regards to the second entrance, which would consist of a right-in/right-out entrance on Center Grove Road.
“Starbucks would potentially be built first and operational; possibly breaking ground this fall, operational by spring. That would be built with any access problems on Center Grove Road; access only onto Plummer Drive. Construction on the hotel would start later, probably first or second quarter of ’17 and probably a year, give or take. You’d be looking at first quarter of ’18 before the hotel would be complete,” Williams said. “That will allow us time to work with the state on the right-in/right-out issue. Right-out, IDOT has indicated they have no issue with; no concerns with a right-out only. Exiting the site, right-in is what we’re still having to review with their geometrics, and it’s going to take us a good six months to a year to get this issue worked out. Working through that process, we will work with the construction schedule that the developer has proposed. We have a couple of ideas that we are trying to work through with the state. We’re not far enough yet.”
As proposed, the right-in/right-out access is only permitted as long as vehicles are prohibited from making an immediate right turn into the Starbucks complex after turning off of Center Grove Road. If the entrance is approved, the developer will install a permanent curb extension that will prevent right-hand turns. Instead, vehicles are expected to go clock-wise around the hotel building to access the drive-thru lane that is located between both buildings, if entering from the right-in/right-out entrance.
Williams said there are two primary concerns IDOT has in regards to the right-in portion of the entrance.
“There was two concerns with the right-in, one being the right-in within a right turn lane and the other issue was concern with stacking around the que to the order kiosk — if the right-in movement starts stacking around and backing up onto Center Grove Road. So that’s one of the things we talked with the developer about is trying to configure that intersection,” Williams said.
Mayor Hal Patton said he agrees with the proposed entrances and believes congestion won’t be a bigger issue than it is now.
“Nobody lives closer to that particular spot than I do and I’ll tell you that it’s the congestion itself that slows traffic down, but I like the idea of having a second entrance and exit. We’ve always talked about subdivisions of certain sizes, having an accident or having a blockage at the one end, and how are you going to get in there, how are you going to get an ambulance through there? I think it makes sense to have that. Hotel visitors, I honestly don’t even know that the Holiday Inn Express is back there. They’re trickling out at different times and it doesn’t seem to be a congestion issue,” Patton said.
As the PUD currently stands and if it is approved by City Council, the project will move forward with the right-in/right-out entrance, unless instructed otherwise not to do so by IDOT. The project site will feature five-foot wide sidewalks that will be located on the north side of Center Grove Road and the west side of Plummer Drive. There will also be an extension along the fence by the common lot line shared with the Edwardsville High School site. The fence will direct pedestrians from the high school to the sidewalks.
Following approval by Council, the right-in/right-out entrance won’t be constructed until the hotel lot begins next year. For the time being, once the Starbucks is built, there will be an all-access entrance that will be exercised.
With all committee members in approval, the motion carried and will be discussed during Thursday’s ACS meeting. If approved, it will be moved to Tuesday’s City Council meeting for final approval.