A new Scooter’s coffee location is planned for the Westloop Shopping Center.
The Manhattan City Commission voted 4-1 Tuesday night in favor of a final development plan. The new store will replace the former Pizza Hut at the southeast corner of the Seth Child and Claflin Road intersection. The site will be rearranged and have a right-in/right-out within the shared entrance with the Dillon’s gas station along Claflin Road. Commissioner Usha Reddi voted against the plan saying it does little to address traffic concerns and would add to the already congested intersection.
“The gas station area is very congested and very busy all the time. There’s going to be a car wash, which is also going to have some problems with traffic, and anytime anyone goes to Dillon’s it’s extremely narrow. It feels like it didn’t when we first started all of that, but now it just feels like everything’s very narrow,” Reddi said
City Engineer Brian Johnson says traffic studies have shown coffeehouse peak business times don’t conflict with the gas station’s. Scooter’s sees their peak sales during the 7 o’clock hour each morning.
“They’ve either got it the day before the night before, or on the weekends. So there is some offset in those peaks between those two that we think will help,” Johnson said. “…When the new Starbucks came in, we met with Starbucks management out of Chicago, and that Starbucks on Bluemont was a top five in the nation. It generated twice the revenue that a typical Starbucks does, and that Starbucks just attracts a crowd.”
The new store is expected to be constructed later this year.
In other business Wednesday, commissioners voted to rezone the 36.5 acre site for a new Joint Maintenance Facility in Pottawatomie County from a county agricultural district to light industrial. Public Works Director Rob Ott says they are reaching out to KDOT for future funding of highway improvements, since increased traffic along the corridor is a key concern.
“Our intent is once they agree to what the improvements and recommendations are and the traffic impact study, which is a signal, and also improvements to turn lanes on US 24 that we can then begin trying negotiations for a KDOT corridor management grant,” he said.
Because the city has a memorandum of understanding, the city is eligible for grant funding at an 80/20 split. With the intersection’s proximity to the railroad, Ott says the new planned signal along Hwy 24 will be timed accordingly to accommodate the roughly 10 trains per day that travel through the area.
The project at Hwy 24 and Levee Drive, will go out for design in the next few weeks.
Also approved Tuesday was an amended ordinance for a final development plan for Meadowlark Hills.
The organization plans to construct a clinic, an independent living apartment and a wellness center. The clinic will be constructed at the southeast corner of the property, providing primary care for Meadowlark residents. Along with that, Olsson Associates Vice President Mark Bachamp says it will include an upgrade to the frontage road into the Blue Hills Shopping Center from the southbound lanes of Tuttle Creek Blvd.
“That will be improved with the clinic down to the end of the property, so that will all be fixed and a new street,” he said.
Commissioner Usha Reddi complimented Meadowlark’s plan, saying it fits a key need in the city.
“I think having a wellness center, a clinic and some of the independent living apartments makes sense. This is a group that’s growing in our community, but it’s also going to be accessible to the rest of the public. I think this is the growth plan that is necessary for Meadowlark at this time,” she said.
Developments will occur in phases with the clinic to be developed first.
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