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Multi-tenant building planned at former Ethan Allen site

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

ASHWAUBENON – The site of the former Ethan Allen furniture building at the corner of Oneida Street and Willard Drive could be redeveloped under a plan backed Tuesday, June 4, by both the village’s Site Plan Review Committee and Plan Commission.

Committee and commission members heard from representatives of Midwest Expansion, which is seeking approval of a planned unit development (PUD) to redevelop the site into a new multi-tenant retail center with an accessory drive-thru window.

Steve Wesolowski of Midwest Expansion said about 95 percent of the existing structure would be torn down.

Steve Wesoloski of Midwest Expansion, right, speaks Tuesday, June 4, before the Ashwaubenon Site Plan Review Committee seeking approval of a site plan to redevelop the former Ethan Allen furniture store at 2350 S. Oneida St.

“We’ll be keeping just that front square, per se, the front canopy, and then attaching to that and making everything come in line with it just to kind of save that vestibule portion of the building,” Wesolowski said.

According to the company’s plan submitted to the village, the existing canopy and entrance of the former building would remain and be incorporated into the design for the redevelopment, which would include 14,868 square feet of building space with new construction starting in July and occupancy scheduled for late fall of this year.

Of the total building square footage, the plan also states 12,818 would be for a shopping center with another 700-800 square feet of space for patrons of the drive-thru.

Community Development Director Aaron Schuette said the multi-tenant retail use would include a restaurant with a drive-thru that has its entrance on Willard Drive and exits on Oneida Street, where vehicles leaving the drive-thru will only be able to turn right where the median prevents a left-hand turn.

“You’ll notice on the site plan that there is a drive-thru on the south end of the property,” Schuette said. “The lane will extend across the front of the property to South Oneida Street to the existing curb cut.”

Drawings Midwest Expansion submitted for the project show the multi-tenant facility entrance on the south of the property along Willard Drive with access to the parking area on the west and the building on the east of the site.

It was noted during the committee and commission meetings the current entrance and exit for the property along Oneida Street would be only an exit with the redevelopment.

Schuette said the PUD is designed to maximize use of the property, such as with reducing the front-yard setback from 35 to 32 feet, reducing the parking requirement from 84 to 73 stalls and reducing the minimum green space from 15 to 13.9 percent.

“As staff, we felt that those accommodations to bring along a redevelopment of this quality were reasonable accommodations,” he said.

Schuette said the exterior building materials will include a mix of horizontal and vertical siding, aluminum storefront window systems, an exterior insulation finish system (EIFS) and a concrete masonry unit.

He said the amount of EIFS identified for the project in the site plan meets the village requirements by being below the 30 percent cumulative building maximum, along with having 3 feet of masonry wainscot above the finish grade elevation.

The PUD for the project is scheduled to be presented for final approval by the village board June 25.

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