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An architectural drawing depicts the new Crystal Vision Clinic, which is expected to be built at 5730 Bottineau Blvd. The clinic’s owner cited a lack of parking at the practice’s current location as the biggest reason for the move. (Illustration via Crystal City Council meeting packet)

The empty lot sandwiched between a clinic and Crystal Airport on Bottineau Boulevard has been vacant so long that it has a new address, but the parcel is expected to finally welcome its new occupant next year.

The lot at 5730 Bottineau Blvd. was once known as 5736 Lakeland Avenue, the site of a carpet store before it became an African market in its final incarnation, according to John Sutter, community development director for Crystal. The building was torn down in 2011 as part of the reconstruction of Bottineau Boulevard, a project that removed Lakeland Avenue, which served as a frontage road.

The next occupant of the 1-acre site is expected to be the new Crystal Vision Clinic, which currently operates at 5200 Douglas Drive. The Crystal City Council paved the way for the move Oct. 19, when it unanimously approved a site plan and a variance allowing more parking on the property than normally permitted by city code.

“The new Crystal Vision Clinic will fit perfectly with the community vision for that site,” Sutter wrote in an email to the Sun Post. “Together with Northwest Family Clinics and other tenants in the adjacent Crystal Medical Center, a wide range of medical services will be available at this location. The city is excited to see this investment in the community.”

In the council’s meeting materials, the vision clinic cited a lack of parking at its current location as the biggest reason for the move. The clinic has 33 parking spots, 13 of which are used by staff, although some staff are asked to park at the dentist office across the street, according to the the clinic’s project narrative.

Based on a city code that allows one parking stall per 250 square feet, the clinic would be allowed to have 52 stalls, but the variance will allow 57. The variance was justified, Sutter said at the council meeting, because the site is “much more auto-dependent than most of the commercial properties in Crystal.”

The added spaces will serve what Dr. Scott Endres, the owner of the 60-year-old practice, called an expanding operation.

“We’re going to add services and our practice is growing,” Endres told the Sun Post.

He appreciates the synergy found in being next to a medical clinic. Endres noted that his clinic provides a lot of care for eye conditions related to diabetes, and is adding more extensive treatment for dry-eye and macular degeneration, the latter of which “is really a growing problem, growing concern for our elderly patients.”

Construction is expected to start late this year and be complete in 2022.

Having been located in Crystal for 40 years, Endres said he is happy to be staying.

“We’re enjoying our time here,” he said.

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