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Article updated: 6/24/2013 4:15 PM

Dunkin' Donuts, Jersey Mike's eye Palatine location

By Kimberly Pohl

More than 18 months after the Palatine village council narrowly turned down a Starbucks and sub shop to fill a long-vacant lot on Northwest Highway, officials soon will consider a Dunkin' Donuts and sub shop there instead.

Jersey Mike's Subs and Dunkin' Donuts have requested to open locations near the southwest corner of Northwest Highway and Smith Street.

The lot, which has been vacant since the property was subdivided back in 1995, would feature a four-unit, 6,700-square-foot shopping center. It would include 55 parking spaces, more than enough to meet village code.

Village Manager Reid Ottesen said the council is tentatively scheduled to hear the issue at its Aug. 5 meeting.

The proposal is reminiscent of one made in January 2012 when a Starbucks and Charley's Grilled Subs tried to build a three-unit shopping center on the same site between McDonald's and BMO Harris Bank.

Like the previous proposal, the latest plan calls for a drive-through. The request by Starbucks ultimately was denied by a 4 to 3 vote. In both cases, village staff and Palatine's Zoning Board of Appeals have recommended approving the projects.

Several residents came out to oppose the Starbucks project, saying it would hurt business at Norma's Coffee Corner across the street.

In turning down that proposal, certain council members said the intersection was congested enough already. They refuted a traffic engineer's study concluding the new businesses would have a minimal effect.

A study this time around came to a similar conclusion, saying some changes would lead to improved traffic flow compared to the previous proposal.

Traffic engineer Stephen Corcoran called shopping center's impact "negligible."

Village planner Christina Johnson outlined staff's recommendation to approve the project, saying the property was intended for commercial development when a larger parcel was subdivided 18 years ago.

"This plan provides adequate parking on site for the proposed uses," Johnson said. "The village engineer has reviewed the traffic report and site traffic characteristics and finds it acceptable."

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