Plan Commission approves expansion plans for St. Vincent de Paul building

by Emmitt B. Feldner of The Review staff


THE ST. VINCENT de Paul Society of Plymouth is planning an expansion to the east of the Eastern Avenue building (above). The three-story expansion, which will house warehouse and processing space as well as additional office and meeting space, was approved by the Plymouth Plan Commission Thursday. THE ST. VINCENT de Paul Society of Plymouth is planning an expansion to the east of the Eastern Avenue building (above). The three-story expansion, which will house warehouse and processing space as well as additional office and meeting space, was approved by the Plymouth Plan Commission Thursday. PLYMOUTH – As its mission expands, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is looking to expand its facilities here.

Officials of the charitable organization presented plans for expansion of their store and office building on Eastern Avenue Thursday to the Plan Commission, which approved it.

The addition to the east end of the former Sentry store building will create a full three stories on the building and will be used primarily for processing and storage for the thrift store as well as office and meeting space for St. Vincent de Paul, especially for its youth programs.

“Our goal is to work with youth with systemic change, but right now we don’t have a home base,” Margaret Ausloos, executive director and manager of St. Vincent de Paul, told the commission. “We need the space to run our programs. We’d like to have a place for them to come after school.”

Gary Meyer of St. Vincent de Paul explained that the new basement area in the addition will be used for storage and processing of items for the store, which will not be expanded in size.

“That’s going to be an exten- sion of processing area that goes on in the back of the store today,” Meyer said.

Part of the project will be construction of a covered, drivethrough drop-off area for donations on the east side of the building, replacing the drop-off at the rear loading dock that often results in donated items being left out in the open due to lack of space, he added.

“This will give us improved security,” Meyer said. The present drop-off area in the back of the building will be converted to warehouse space.

The facade of the addition will match the existing building facade, with split-face block and burgundy accents and signage.

The new space and drop-off will also allow store officials to better control drop-off of larger items while improving St. Vincent’s recycling of unusable or unsellable items.

“We want to improve our recycling of what we get,” Ausloos commented. “We want to recycle as much of the electronics as we can, but that (material) needs to be under cover.”

“We’re trying to improve what we’re doing with our waste stream,” Meyer added.

The plan also includes adding greenery and plantings in front of the building, which is not there now.

Commission members got into a discussion of parking space for the store, which will lose about 40 spaces with the expansion.

Commission member Jim Flanagan questioned whether the remaining number of spaces would meet the zoning code requirements. But Building Inspector Pete Scheuerman, Public Works Director Bill Immich and City Administrator all responded that the number would be sufficient under the requirements in another section of the code.

Despite their assurances, Flanagan voted against the site plan.

Immich said he will work with St. Vincent de Paul officials to relocate a utility easement through the parking lot that lies under a part of the proposed extension.


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