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Massive warehouse proposed in De Pere

By Heather Graves

DE PERE – A proposed project for a 1.1 million-square-foot warehouse in the City of De Pere received full support from the Planning Commission and the Board of Appeals at their meetings July 7.

The project will now go to the city council for final approval on Tuesday, July 20.

“This is a very exciting project,” Mayor James Boyd said. “When they came to De Pere a few months back and we were informed about this, it was something that opens up your eyes a little bit. American Boulevard is designed for this, and it is something we can handle. This is exciting for De Pere.”

The proposal comes nearly a year after a similar project to house a Georgia Pacific warehouse fizzled out in the Town of Lawrence due to heavy public opposition, mostly due to its proposed location, which was about a mile-and-a-half from Hemlock Creek Elementary School.

“The entire future of what the Town of Lawrence will become, rests on this zoning request,” town resident Andrew Schmidt said at last August’s public hearing in Lawrence.

Scannell Development Properties, the warehouse developer associated with the proposed Lawrence project, is listed as the developer for the proposed project in De Pere.

De Pere Development Services Director Dan Lindstrom said the project is for a massive warehouse proposed by Scannell Properties, not noting a potential tenant.

“From my department’s perspective, we are looking at it as a developer’s build-to-suit project, a white box distribution warehouse,” Lindstrom said.

The project is proposed for the 2400 block of American Boulevard, which includes a 1.1-million-square-foot office and warehouse with pavement for 118 auto parking stalls, 88 loading docks and 388 trailer parking stalls.

Lindstrom said American Boulevard is the city’s widest-built street and is designed for this type of heavy traffic.

He said the city has not, at this point, received any opposition for the project.

In December of last year, the proposed area was rezoned industrial by the city to accommodate future business park development.

“Trying to do my homework, I drove down American Boulevard and tried to understand where this was going… I saw it as an appropriate fit for where it is proposed,” Commission Member Brenda Busch said.

The Town of Lawrence project was expected to cost $50 million, create 75 to 80 permanent jobs and be used to store the company’s products, which are currently spread between five different locations.

Specific numbers for the De Pere project were not released.

The Board of Appeals approved two variances at its July 7 meeting – one allowing loading berths in the front yard with screening, and the second allowing outdoor storage (truck trailer parking only) in the front yard with screening.

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