Council Turns Down Proposed Storage Facility at Former Copps Building
“Letting Kwik Trip develop and seeing what else might come along of better use is something that would be a good thing for the city.”
By Brandi Makuski
The Stevens Point City Council on Monday denied a conditional use permit for Storage Unlimited LLC to open an indoor storage facility at the former location of Copps on Church Street.
Storage Unlimited LLC planned to use the building for an indoor storage facility, similar to the one it operates in Plover inside the former location of The Discounter, 2640 Post Road. The proposed second location at 3256 Church Street would be adjacent to a newly- approved Kwik Trip convenience store and car wash, but community development officials worried the nature of the business would make it appear vacant.
Another problem, according to Community Development Director Michael Ostrowski, was that the storage facility could stifle development and growth along that portion of the Bus. 51 corridor- something city leaders had been hoping the new Kwik Trip would kick off.
The 50,000 square-foot building has about 180 parking stalls, something Ostrowski said was part of a “redevelopment corridor” on Bus. 51, but given the nature of the business, most of those parking stalls would likely go unused.
Steve Winter, a resident of Appleton who owns the former Copps building, said he has successfully managed to split off and sell large buildings before, but after two and a half years on the market, he’s had no success unloading the former Copps property.
“So we made a special trip to see Michael (Ostrowski),” Winter said. “You can have the greatest plan in the world (for that space), but you have to be able to implement it. We asked what your ideal use for the property is, and he (Ostrowski) said, ‘office use; in fact I just had a call about that space’.”
Winter said when he asked Ostrowski who the interested party was, Ostrowski said it was confidential- something he echoed later when prompted by the City Council.
The Council appeared to have a tough time turning down the proposal, as it took several moments of silence before Alderman Randy Stroik finally made a motion to deny.
“I don’t think the two developments (the storage facility and Kwik Trip) have to go hand in hand,” Stroik said. “Letting Kwik Trip develop and seeing what else might come along of better use is something that would be a good thing for the city.”
Alderman Mike O’Meara agreed with Stroik, calling Ostrowski’s reasons for recommending the denial “compelling”.
Council members Hans Walther, Mike Wiza, Tony Patton, Mike Phillips and Jerry Moore all voted against the storage facility. Council members George Doxtator, Mary Stroik and Roger Trzebiatowski, as well as Council President Jeremy Slowsinki voted in the minority.
Ostrowski declined to give further details on the other party interested in the building, saying only that it was already located in the community, referring to it as an “institution” as opposed to a company or business.