The Rogers City Council on Aug. 10 approved a downtown façade improvement matching grant not to exceed $30,000 for AS&W Rental Properties, for a new downtown restaurant at 12901 Main Street.

On May 11, the council approved a site plan and variance request to allow R Social on Main, a 384-seat restaurant, at 12901 Main Street. At that time, the proponent indicated an intent to request financial support for work to restore the historic storefronts of the two buildings on the property.

Jason Ziemer, Rogers City Planner and Community Development coordinator, said application for the improvements falls under the city’s Facade Improvement Matching Grant Program, which was created with the new Rogers Downtown Master Plan.

“Rehabilitation and/or restoration of the historic storefronts of the buildings dating back to the early years of Rogers is of vested interest to both the city and property owners,” Ziemer said in a memo to the council.

“The goal is to restore storefronts to the glory days,” he told the council last week.

The Façade Improvement Matching Grant Program provides that the city will share in the cost of eligible improvements at 50% of the cost up to $25,000 per storefront. The grant is structured as a five-year loan with no payments and 20% of the loan forgiven each year for five years.

The improvements may include exterior painting or re-siding, restoration of exterior finished and materials, masonry repairs and tuck pointing, and restoration of architectural details.

Applicant Branden Warner is proposing to renovate two existing buildings, previously occupying antique stores, into a 384-seat restaurant including two indoor bars and two dining room areas, plus an outdoor patio and rooftop deck patio.

One criterion for receipt of a loan is submission of the numbers of jobs to be created as part of the project.

“I’m assuming with the size of the restaurant a minimum number of employees would be 50,” Ihli said. “I want to see this get rolling and move forward.”

Kris Thielen, an architect with Wilkus Architects in Hopkins, said earlier that developers are hoping to finish the project by the end of the year.

Mister Car Wash

The council also approved a conditional use permit and site plan for a Mister Car Wash at 21421 South Diamond Lake Road.

The stand-alone automated car wash on the former Burger King site is slated to have 14 self-service vacuum stalls.

Such facilities in Rogers are limited to locating one-quarter of a mile from Interstate 94, and more than 300 square feet from residential uses.

Mayor Rick Ihli noted that the site has been vacant for some time and frequently has been used by semis or camper units.

“The building is in poor shape visually,” Ihli said. “This is a good use for that property. It looks great. It will be a welcome change to what’s there now. I think it’s a good spot, a good fit.”

Councilor Shannon Klick added, “It’s one of the biggest eyesores in downtown.”

Among the conditions for the proposal are that the car wash hours will be limited to 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and that overhead doors will remain closed during off-peak hours unless a vehicle is entering or exiting.

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