By Brandi Makuski
City leaders this week approved the final site plan for a new indoor storage facility on Church Street.
Storage Unlimited LLC will use the former location of the Copps grocery store as an indoor storage facility, similar to the one it operates in Plover inside the former location of The Discounter, 2640 Post Road.
The project was initially denied last Feb. but was approved in December after the owners made some changes to the plan.
Michael Ostrowski, community development director, said the initial request was denied because the proposal included utilizing the entire 50,000-square-foot building for indoor storage units.
That would make the building appear vacant, he said, and not encourage the foot or vehicle traffic city leaders wanted in order to spur development on the south side.
A busy Kwik Trip opened across the parking lot last October, and Ostrowski said neighboring new businesses should have a similar look and feel of being business-friendly.
“We had concerns in February that storage was not an appropriate use of this building and did not provide the kind of economic activity within that district we felt it should meet,” Ostroswki said.
One of the initial concerns including improving the look of the building’s exterior, Ostrowski said, because it “looks vacant”.
New plans included trees and shrubbery along the front, but limited any major changes to the exterior until a retail tenant- which will utilize the front one-third of the building- could be secured.
“The applicants have revised their plans to incorporate retail and some commercial sections within the building,” he said, adding the storage units would comprise only about 70 percent of the building.
The city approved the new plans with the condition the exterior improvements be complete within one year, and the business maintains a 30 percent for retail or commercial use, and future additional changes to the building be approved by the city council.
Jamie White, owner of Storage Unlimited in Plover, said her team has worked for more than a year to fall within the city guidelines for approval of the project.
“We’ll continue working with the local building inspector to make sure we meet the requirements of the city,” White said. “We’d like to start the project right away.”
The storage facility is slated to be operational by summer.
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