APC doesn’t recommend plans

The Central Park Commons area in Eagan is filled with retail, restaurants, grocery stores, banks, a hotel and multifamily residential developments.

A self-storage facility would like to join them in a nearby lot.

Developers have plans for a two-story, 100,850-square-foot self-storage facility on 1.7 acres of land located at 1552 Quarry Road next to Aldi in Eagan. It would also be next to a four-story, 127-unit hotel and multifamily residential apartments.

It’s the final site on the Quarry Road Planned Development, but the Advisory Planning Commission advised against a planned development amendment last week during a meeting.

It will eventually be up to the Eagan City Council, but in the APC’s consensus, commission members didn’t feel a self-storage facility was a good fit for the development.

Some members had issues with the height of the proposed building and lack of green space.

Although, developers said the site has proved to be difficult to market due to its location and accessibility. It’s not off Yankee Doodle Road, so visibility isn’t ideal.

Rick McKelvey, vice president of development for United Properties, said the property has been marketed for almost two years.

Developers have approached banks, credit unions, restaurants, gas stations, car washes, dentists and medical offices.

A 12,000-square-foot medical office was once approved for the site, but it fell through.

McKelvey admitted a self-storage facility isn’t the most exciting use, but he said it felt like it transitioned nicely from retail to commercial properties.

It would be next to multifamily residential units, so United Properties hopes to market at least some of its business toward the local residents.

He also thought it was a good fit because a self-storage facility would cause less traffic and require less parking than a traditional commercial building.

“We really warmed up to the idea,” McKelvey said. “It’s the best we can do at this site. I truly believe that. I wouldn’t be promoting this if I thought there was another commercial use for this site.”

City officials had some issues with it as well, citing it’s not compatible with the surrounding area. The proposal also exceeds building coverage standards and plans include less green space than ordinance requirements.

“The vision of the central area plan is to be an active mixed-use walkable destination for people of all ages,” said Sarah Thomas, Eagan planner.

She said warehouses are traditionally placed in more industrial areas.

Several residents, many from the Applewood Pointe of Eagan, a co-op residential development under construction, spoke out against the development during the APC meeting as well.

Although they recognized it may not be feasible, residents spoke in favor of the city buying the property and turning it into a park.

But City Planner Mike Ridley noted the lot is close to both Quarry Park and Central Park.

Some residents questioned the overall density of the development.

Ridley said it was always intended that some type of business was going to be built on the site and the Central Park Commons area was intended to feature mixed uses from retail, restaurant to residential properties.

Even if the self-storage facility’s plans are denied, the site will remain zoned for some kind of business.

Assistant City Engineer Aaron Nelson noted that the roads in the area would feasibly handle traffic from both Aldi and the storage facility, or whatever is built on the site.

The next City Council meeting is Feb. 5.

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