Home » News » Suamico » Board grants permit for luxury storage building project

Board grants permit for luxury storage building project

Suamico Trustee Sky Van Rossum speaks Monday, July 16, in favor of issuing a conditional use permit to build luxury storage buildings on the east side of Deerfield Avenue and south side of the future Woodfield Court. Van Rossum had previously opposed the project. Kevin Boneske Photo

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

SUAMICO – After deadlocking 3-3 last month, the Suamico village board voted 4-2 Monday, July 16, to grant a conditional use permit requested by Bayland Buildings to construct approximately 160 luxury storage units on vacant land at the southeast corner of East Deerfield Avenue and the future Woodfield Court.

Key to the board’s majority vote required for approval was Trustee Sky Van Rossum, who initially opposed granting a permit and then switched his vote in favor.

Van Rossum said he supported the “motion to renew” to bring the matter back before the board after learning about what the financial effect would be to the village by not approving the project.

“I believe I’m probably the deciding vote, which did not allow this to move forward,” he said. “Based on the information I had at the time, I still believe (that) was the right choice. However, following that there was some pretty significant information that came forward.”

Van Rossum said he has since learned that the financial risk to the village by not allowing the luxury storage building project to go forward “would put us significantly backwards.”

“That was something that was worth more than being here and having to dredge this back up and go through this,” he said. “That was more important to me than anything else, so that’s why I brought this forward.”

Should the property not be developed in a “short amount of time,” Van Rossum said “this piece of property, basically, could be abandoned by the bank and become the property or revert back to the village of Suamico, meaning we lose all the assessments, meaning that in order to keep that from going to wetland, it would be the responsibility and as a financial cost to the village of Suamico to maintain that land and prevent it from going back to wetland.”

Van Rossum said village board members “are not real estate brokers.”

“That was the biggest reason for me that this needed to come forward, and quite frankly, the biggest reason that I’m going to be changing my vote this evening,” he said.

A June 7 email message sent to Village Administrator Steve Kubacki from Chris Coppens, vice president of Bay Bank, which owns the property, stated the four lots where the project is planned have been listed for sale for approximately the last 10 years when it has been “very hard to market the property for sale” because of special assessments owed and could again be designated a wetland if not maintained.

Coppens said he “cannot stress enough that time is of the essence and I truly believe the village has a golden opportunity to resolve the past issues… and generate revenue to pay the outstanding assessments by approving this development while this land still remains buildable.”

Based on the information received from the bank and also recompiled by village staff, Kubacki said it was important for the board to reconsider the development.

“The positive impact on (the Tax Incremental Financing district) is significant, number one,” said Kubacki, who also noted the development would exceed the current quality in the area significantly.

“And thirdly, the dollars available from that development could also be used for TIF improvement that could spur upscale redevelopment in those areas that currently has not happened and very likely will not happen without an influx of additional infrastructure to make a difference in those areas,” he said.

Kubacki said the village staff previously “didn’t do as good of a job as we should have providing information” to the board.

“But this particular development is critical at this location in the community,” he said. “There’s no question about it. If this doesn’t occur, very likely nothing will occur, or nothing of this nature.”

Kubacki said the no other development has shown the possibility of creating the value that this development would create.”

“You could put up a 10,000-square-foot building on a large lot, and all you get is a $1 million out of it, more or less,” he said. “That being said, if this development as proposed is successful and moves forward, the amount of dollars that would be created as revenue source for a TIF is significantly more.”

Kubacki said the project has the potential of being an $8 million development.

Trustee Michelle Eckert, one of two board members to vote against granting the permit, said she didn’t believe building luxury storage units on the site was the only answer for developing the property.

Village President Laura Nelson, the other board member who also remained opposed to the project, said she found the financial information about the site “concerning” but “speculative” and wasn’t at a point where she would change her vote.

Trustees Steve Andrews, Jason Ward and Mike Schneider also voted in favor of granting a permit, while Dan Roddan, who owns property near the site, abstained from voting.

The board’s motion included four conditions, which call for the building elevations and site plan to be approved by the Design Review Committee; village approval of a storm water design plan; meeting the requirements of all applicable ordinances, regulations and reviewing agencies; and village approval of a developer’s agreement that identifies all site development expectations.

Kubacki said the developer’s agreement was discussed in closed session Monday, but no action was taken by the board, which will likely consider the agreement for approval Aug. 6 or 20.

The project had first come before the board May 21 when Grant Heim and Bradly Schmidt appeared at a public hearing seeking to combine four vacant parcels to construct luxury storage units sold through a condo plat.

The project plans also include a main clubhouse and wash bay building, while the owners of the storage units would be able to complete the interior of the units as they choose.

Heim said the storage unit layout for the project includes clusters of six buildings with 8 feet of space between each building in the cluster, 20 feet separating building clusters and 60 feet between rows of buildings.

Facebook Comments
Scroll to Top