Business, industry expansions advance

by Emmitt B. Feldner of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – Commercial and industrial projects filled the Plan Commission’s agenda Thursday.

The commission approved a site plan for a commercial renovation of the former Plymouth Oil building on Highland Avenue, another for a warehouse expansion at Plymouth Foam, and plans for two new warehouse/trucking facilities in or adjacent to the city’s southeast industrial park on County PP.

Endries Express Trucking of Kiel will build a 50,000-square foot refrigerated warehouse and storage facility on a lot at the end of Blanke Court in the industrial park, Ray Haen of Quasius Construction told the commission.

The plan required a division of an existing lot in the industrial park to create a 4.2 acre site where Endries will build, just to the west of Sartori Whey and the Sartori Foods plant.

The division left a 2.2-acre lot to the south, on County PP, which Haen said Endries could purchase in the future for potential expansion, up to 145,000 square feet, of their facility.

It also created a 10.6-acre outlot to the north and east of the two industrial lots that includes unbuildable wetland areas.

The warehouse/storage facility will have three loading docks facing Blanke Court, which runs east from Sartori Whey parallel to County PP.

The commission made the site plan approval contingent on Endries completing the purchase of the property from the Plymouth Industrial Development Corp., along with the creation of an easement for a fire lane on the east side of the lot and a final grading plan.

J.J. Trucking of Sheboygan Falls will build a 48,800-square foot cold storage facility on an existing lot just west of the industrial park on the north side of County PP between the Sartori plant and the Toro soccer fields. The lot once housed a dog kennel business and the home and buildings from that business are still in place.

Bob Poch of Keller Inc., architects and builders for the project, said the new building would have three loading docks facing east toward the Sartori building. There is room on the lot, he added, for up to two potential additions.

He said the company’s owners had hoped to use the existing house on the north end of the lot, perhaps as housing for an employee, and the existing outbuildings for storage.

City Administrator Brian Yerges explained that the HI heavy industry zoning for the lot prohibits any residential uses on the property, but said it would be possible to use the outbuildings for storage.

Yerges also noted that the building’s south facade, which faces County PP, is actually a side and not the front of the building and wondered about the appearance of the building.

Commission member Pete Rammer noted that the 400-plus foot long west facade of the building, which would also be visible from County PP, was a long, unbroken wall, what he termed a “billboard effect.”

Poch noted that the building is located 100 feet off the highway, which would reduce its visibility from there.

He also said landscaping and a berm along County PP could help hide the building somewhat, but said that the building would be constructed to look like a pre-cast building, similar to others already in the industrial park.

The commission approved the site plan contingent on final landscaping and drainage plans being approved by city staff.

Scott Matula of Aspire Architecture and Design presented plans for the renovation of the former Plymouth Oil warehouse on Eastern Avenue into a new office and retail design showroom for Precision Flooring.

“We were looking for something that would have more of a retail feel to it and something that was visible from the intersection,” of Eastern and Highland avenues nearby, Matula told the commissioners.

The plan includes extensive exterior renovations to create the new interior spaces and a 300-foot covered entranceway on the north part of the building.

The retail space will be in the northwest part of the structure, with storage and work space in the rest of the building.

A 60,000-square foot warehouse addition to the west side of the Plymouth Foam building at 1800 Sunset Dr. was also approved by the commission.

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