Former Suamico Shopko to be used for indoor mini-storage
By Kevin Boneske
SUAMICO – The former Shopko store at 2320 Lineville Road will have a new purpose, but not with another big-box retail outlet moving in.
The Suamico village board voted 6-1 Monday, June 7, to approve an amendment to the Urban Edge planned development district to allow for indoor mini-storage inside the building.
The board’s motion includes the following conditions:
• All units must be accessed from the interior of the building.
• The storage of fuels, flammables and non-electric motorized equipment/vehicles is prohibited.
• Maintain interior and exterior high-definition cameras covering the interior and exterior of the property; have surveillance cameras with a minimum of 45 days of DVR holding capacity and equipped with infrared lights to illuminate in low-light situations; provide details on the surveillance system to the Brown County Sheriff’s Office; and post a sign in a prominent location with the following language: “This area is under live/recorded video surveillance to aid in the prosecution of any crimes committed.”
• Meet the requirements of all other applicable ordinances, regulations and reviewing agencies.
Village President Laura Nelson, who objected to allowing motor vehicles to move inside the building where the storage units will be located, cast the lone dissenting vote.
“I just don’t like the idea of exhaust (inside a building),” she said.
Zoning Administrator Steve Dunks said Midwest Expansion proposed to construct around 415 mini-storage units of multiple sizes within the Shopko building.
The project will also include two retail spaces in the front portion.
Dunks said additional storefront access will be added on the south elevation and a couple of overhead doors on the west and north elevations in line with the larger hallways.
“(Midwest Expansion) will be using them for temporary vehicular access to provide easier access for individuals, and no additional ventilation would be required for that use, per the state code, as long as it was not overnight or continuous storage (of vehicles),” he said.
Though storage of limited amounts of flammables is allowable under certain conditions, Dunks said the Suamico Fire Department asked to restrict the storage of fuels, flammables and all non-electric motors, because the department will not have access to these individually locked storage units to monitor quantities or whether proper storage containers are used.
Trustee Dan Roddan said there is currently a shortage of available storage units in Suamico.
“You try to find one in Suamico right now, you’re not going to find a storage unit, if I’m not mistaken… just a regular (storage unit), like 10×10 (feet) or 10×25 (feet), you’re not going find one,” he said. “There is a great need for this, in my opinion. I think this is a creative way to utilize space that’s just going to sit there vacant.”
Jeff Noeldner of Midwest Expansion said it is currently difficult to attract a big-box retailer to Suamico.
“If you look into the research, you’ll see big boxes are not expanding,” he said. “They’re actually minimizing their footprint and doing… more deliveries.”
Noeldner said Midwest Expansion bought the former Shopko building out of bankruptcy last year for less than $2 million, and he expects it will cost around $750,000 to construct the storage units.
He said he expects the project will add about $1.4 million to the value of the property.
Noeldner said the two retail spaces in front will account for about 20,000 square feet of building space.
Trustee Jason Ward said he favored the project as presented because he doesn’t want to see the Shopko building sit vacant for another five years.
“I think it’s a smart way to go about it that we have our retail space in the front, but it’s not as massive of a retail space that you have to struggle to find somebody large enough to take it over,” he said.