Commission OKs zoning, closures for Super One FoodsPlans to build a new Super One Food’s store cleared moved forward Wednesday.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
Plans to build a new Super One Food’s store cleared moved forward Wednesday.
The Plan Commission approved plans to close streets and alleys between East Fourth and East Second streets and 22nd and 23rd Avenues East to make one contiguous parcel after 27 home- and one business owner agreed to sell their property for development.
The commission also gave preliminary approval to change the apartment residential zoning to highway commercial.
Both actions are subject to a public hearing before the Superior City Council. That hearing is likely to take place in December, said Port and Planning Director Jason Serck.
“I’m really excited you’re coming in,” said Sara Haugen, who owns a neighboring apartment building and Pudge’s in the East End Business District.
Many in the business district believe the project will be good for the area because the new store would draw more people into the neighborhood business district, creating an opportunity for growth.
Miner’s Inc. plans to replace its store on East Fifth Street with a new store adjacent to East Second Street, making the new 60,000 square foot grocery more prominent in the neighborhood and a potential draw for tourists heading to Iron River and the North Shore for outdoor adventures. It’s a plan that has bolstered enthusiasm for business owners in East End.
However, the increased traffic is cause for concern for some residents living in the area adjacent to the proposed store.
“Are you going to buy my house?” Linda Kahler asked. A long-time resident of 22nd Avenue East, she expressed concern about safety for people living in the neighborhood. After all, her only option to get out of her driveway is to back out onto 22nd Avenue East, and with a detour and temporary traffic signals in the neighborhood over the summer while 18th Avenue East and East Second Street was under construction already gave her a taste of what to expect.
Commissioner Tom Bridge said the circumstances are likely to be different when the store opens because people won’t be using 22nd Avenue East as a shortcut between East Second and Fifth streets. Instead, traffic will be moving slower, preparing to turn into the grocery store parking lot.
Kahler also expressed concern about the store’s lighting flooding her bedroom window, affecting the quality of life in the neighborhood.
John Geissler, an architect with DSGW Architects, said the plan includes natural buffering; it also will meet city requirements for lighting that prohibits commercial development from casting light on adjacent properties.
After the meeting, officials from Miner’s Inc. were quick to contact neighbors who shared their concerns.
“I’m not opposed to the project,” said John Rogers; however he agreed with Kahler that public safety is an issue that will have to be addressed — specifically, the walkability of the neighborhood where many walk through the neighborhood.
City officials said they would work with people in the neighborhood to ensure concerns are addressed, from repairing sidewalks in the area so people don’t have to walk in the street once the new store is built to meeting with neighbors to address those issues.
John Krenke, who works in development for Miner’s Inc., the Hermantown-based parent company of Super One Foods, also provided residents with his business card to give residents a way to contact company officials. Officials from Miner’s Inc. want to work with neighbors and maintain good relationships built over the last 30-plus years the company has operated stores in Superior.
Commissioner James Peterson questioned plans for the Super One Store in the Belknap Plaza. Rumors suggested Miner’s Inc. planned to close that location after construction of the new store, but company officials said they haven’t made any decisions about the Belknap Plaza location.
The new store is intended to replace the existing store on East Fifth Street.
No date has been set for the public hearings required before the council considers the proposals. Serck said those notices will be published in the newspaper once the hearings have been set by the council.
“I believe neighbors’ concerns will be addressed,” said Commissioner Mick MacKenzie.