The Eau Claire Plan Commission gave the go-ahead Monday night for two large warehouse projects in a northwest side business park and for developers to convert the former Syverson Lutheran Home into an upscale apartment building.
The site plan for the nursing home project calls for Pablo Properties, Commonweal Development and Market & Johnson to transform the building at 816 Porter Ave. into 47 apartments. The project will include adding two parking garages, extensive interior renovations, improving the exterior architecture, upgrading the landscaping and adding to the fourth floor to create three penthouses.
“The idea is to make it a very attractive place, a very welcoming place to live and make it more a part of the 3rd Ward,” Commonweal President Stuart Schaefer said.
Several 3rd Ward homeowners already have expressed interest in potentially downsizing into the apartments and like the idea of being able to stay in their neighborhood, he said.
The renovation, which will include replacing all the windows and the HVAC system, has gained support from neighbors and the endorsement of the Third Ward Neighborhood Association, Schaefer told commissioners, who approved the site plan unanimously.
Developers hope to begin construction on the project this fall after working out a few more details, he said.
Commissioners also gave unanimous approval to site plans for the two warehouses in Gateway Northwest Business Park on the city’s far northwest side.
The first structure would be 120,00 square feet and contain a mixture of storage space and offices for two existing e-commerce businesses in Eau Claire.
Plans call for Net Health Shops and Net Pet Shops to move from the space they are renting now at 2020 Prairie Lane to the new building they plan to construct at 5730 Venture Drive.
The businesses, which have grown steadily in their 12 years of operating in Eau Claire, employ about 35 office staffers and 15 warehouse workers, and the project is necessary to allow for further anticipated growth, said owner Chuck Gregorich, adding that the firms also rent warehouse space in 12 other sites across the country.
The companies are online sellers of imported goods, mostly indoor and outdoor home decor items such as fire pits, fountains, patio furniture, garden equipment, wall art, dog beds and holiday decor, Gregorich said. The items are sold through serenityhealth.com and other sites.
Construction on the new facility is expected to start as soon as today, he said.
The other building would be a 102,400-square-foot warehouse with about five employees on land owned by local businessman Curt Tamborino at 4825 Prospect Drive.
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