Ken's Naperville Real Estate Blog : October 2012

Chasing a Dream: The Naperville Scooter Store

I recently purchased my first scooter, a low mileage 2009 Kymco Agility 125...

Kymco Agility 125-My 2009 Kymco Agility 125 posing for a picture outside of my office...

I bought the bike looking for a cheap form of transportation.  As a Naperville real estate agent, a fair amount of my driving I do alone, either meeting clients at showings or running errands that are a necessary part of the business. 

I was spending a lot of time at gas stations, too, and at $4 per gallon, I found the cost of gas fairly painful...

I knew that scooters were relatively reasonable to purchase, and that they got great mileage, but I had no idea how much I would love my scooter! 

Honestly, I have owned several high end vehicles, and none of them put a smile on my face like my Kymco.  I share that joy with anyone that is interested...

About 3 weeks ago, I started a business page on Facebook, Naperville Scooter, looking to build a little community of local riders with similar passion.  As of today, the page has 24 fans and is progressing nicely.  I use the page to post pictures, reviews, good deals I find, and pretty much anything else scooter related...

The other day, a young woman called me asking if I (Naperville Scooter) sold Vespas, a popular brand of scooter.  She had seen me post as Naperville Scooter, liked my profile picture (a red Vespa), and wanted to buy one.

We talked for about 15 minutes.  I explained to her that scooters were a hobby for me, not yet a business.  I enjoyed sharing the information I had regarding bikes, brands, and riding.  I encouraged her to call back if she had any more questions, and I expect her to buy a scooter soon.

I love reading about these bikes, taking pictures of them, talking about them, riding them, and I know I can sell them..

My dream?  To open Naperville Scooter, a retailer specializing in scooters and scooter products, right in the heart of Downtown Naperville...

The nearest stores that offer a decent selection of bikes are 30-40 miles from Naperville.  Too far for me and other local enthusiasts.  

I figure, "Why not me?"  Without even trying and without advertising, I had a customer call looking to buy a bike.  In a tough economy, there certainly is demand for low cost, enviromentally friendly transportation, and boy are they fun to ride...

Naperville also has great demographics for both small business and scooters, and would be an awesome town to open such a business.

With a population of nearly 150,000 spread over 35 square miles, Naperville is made up of subdivisions that are a short ride from it's centrally located downtown.  The downtown is buzzing with stores, restaurants, and nightlife.  Perfect for shopping, dining, people watching, or just walking along the River Walk... 

-The Naperville River Walk on a beautiful fall day...

Naperville is also built along the Burlington Northern train tracks, which makes it convenient for commuters to Chicago.  However, the train station near downtown has a 10 year waiting list for car parking.  There is no wait list for motorcylce/scooter parking.  It is free, no permit required, and spots are available...

Scooter/Motorcycle Parking at the Naperville Train Station-Scooters and motorcycles parked at the Naperville Train Station

Just east of downtown lies North Central College.  North Central is a private Division III university with an enrollment of just over 3000, many of which commute from nearby towns.  Commuting college kids love scooters...

Finally, Naperville is a fairly affluent town, with a median household income of $101,894.  Perfect for starting a small business...

I have even selected a potential site for my business.  Located on the Washington Avenue, the main street through downtown, is a dilapidated building, boarded up and covered with weeds.  This building is an eyesore, and certainly doesn't belong in Napeville's otherwise beautiful downtown...

Ugly building in Downtown Naperville-420 Washington Street, Naperville IL 60540

The building backs to the beautiful DuPage River, and is currently for sale (a short sale).  I believe the city would offer some generous incentives for a small business like mine who wanted to improve the property.

I would like to buy this property, either rehabbing the building or knocking down and starting fresh.  Large glass windows, filled with lights and beautiful shiny scooters would tempt those driving by.  The property is even zoned for a 3 story building, so I could rent out space in the back or above my store to other businesses.

Yes, there are several obstacles between me and Naperville Scooter.  However,  I prefer to focus on the finish line, not the hurdles.

Why not me?

Chase your dreams.

Ken

Have fun and enjoy the ride!

Comment balloon 8 commentsKen Tracy • October 20 2012 03:57PM
Chasing a Dream: The Naperville Scooter Store
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