The planning committee met last week and approved the site plan for the Blains’ arrival at 1771 Wisconsin Ave. The existing Shopko building will be renovated and used for the new store, but several additions and adjustments are planned.
“The proposed building modifications include three small building additions totaling 11,050 square feet, a 3,820 square foot double-track passage through the canopy and modifications to the east facade,” wrote community development director Jessica Wolff. in a report to the committee.
Additions are planned at the customer’s main entrance, another on the north side for the new auto service center and small engine repair area, and the third addition will be for additional storage space next to the docks. existing loading, also on the north side of buildings.
According to village information from Blain’s site plan submission, the company is also planning a 66,000 square foot gated outdoor retail space. The outdoor sales area will have an 8 foot aluminum fence on three sides and a 16 foot solid vinyl fence on one side where there will be 12 foot high pallet racks. The exterior sales area will have an automatic gate to allow entry and exit of approaching vehicles, according to village reports on the site map.
Wolff wrote in his Plan Commission report that the village had contracted a traffic impact study, which resulted in recommendations to extend the turn lanes at the entrances. Traffic analysis also recommended that the area be more guarded and that an additional traffic light with turn control may be required if further developments occur on adjacent properties.
“There will be a new driveway from Highland Drive in the outdoor sales area near the loading docks for deliveries only,” according to village documents.
The floor plan of the interior of the building showed that most of the space will be redeveloped for public retail areas, with about a quarter of the floor area running along the facade of the building and the northeast side designated for warehousing and store function.
Outside the building, the site plan showed the finish of the parking lot in front of the Shopko to the southeast, and the small parking lot to the northeast of the building was repaved and converted into a fenced outdoor sales area. The outdoor sales area would include a drive-thru path for customers.
There were also five conditional use permit applications for Blain’s new farm and fleet approved by the Planning Commission last week. The permits were for inside sales and service; drive-thru and in-vehicle sales; maintenance and repair of vehicles and small engines; automotive related sales; and accessory enclosed outdoor storage.
According to company information, Blain plans to begin construction on the site this fall and to open the new farm and fleet in the fall of 2022. Once open, hours are scheduled from 8 am to 8 pm. Monday to Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
The plan further stated that there would be two shifts per day, with up to 45 people per shift. Blain’s estimates the maximum number of customers in a day at 6,000, based on Black Friday estimates.