Plans for the expansion of the Fleet Farm store in Waupaca will go before the Common Council when it meets Tuesday, Dec. 20.
Mills Properties Inc. has filed a petition for annexation into the city.
The city’s Plan Commission recommended approval of the annexation and of the site plan when it met on Dec. 14.
Plans call for the 30,000-square-foot store to expand to about 125,000 square feet, according to Bruce Buxton, of Widseth Smith Nolting.
The Baxter, Minn. company has worked with Fleet Farm for more than 30 years and is in the process of completing the expansion design for the Waupaca store, he said.
“The primary goal is to eliminate ‘not available in Waupaca,'” Buxton said, in reference to the company’s ads that include those words for products that are sold in its other stores but not in Waupaca.
He explained that the company is petitioning to annex from the town of Waupaca into the city of Waupaca because it wants to install city utilities, including sewer and water.
Buxton said while some of the stores do have septic systems and private wells, the company wants to put a sprinkler system in the new store. That is why it wants to install city water.
He told the Plan Commission that the Waupaca Fleet Farm is among the company’s older stores. It opened here in 1968.
“I’ve been looking at this site for probably 15 years,” Buxton said.
The proposal includes removing the old A & W Restaurant, expanding the store and providing a merchandise yard with a gated entrance. There would also be a new loading dock – screened from neighbors – and new signage.
With its main pylon sign proposed to be 60 feet tall, Mills Properties will have to request a special use permit for that. The city does allow signs up to that height with such a permit.
The sign would include gas prices and an electronic reader board, advertising specials.
The company is requesting a sign of such height, noting that it can be difficult to see signage for the store due to the proximity of the interchange for the bypass.
Buxton said no changes are proposed at this time to the fuel and auto service area. A car wash is not in the plan.
They hope to take the project out for bids in January so that they are ready to go by the end of February.
“Most new construction from scratch takes one year,” he said. “This is smaller, but we will have to stage it, so it will probably take about a year to get it done.”
Buxton told the Plan Commission it is their hope that they never have to close the store during the construction process.
The new portion will be built around the existing store, he said. Once the new store is completed, it will open. Then, the old store will be remodeled.
Buxton said the largest Fleet Farm is 275,000 square feet; the store in Stevens Point is 152,000 square feet.
“As you can see, we’ve outgrown what we have here,” he said. “Waupaca’s been a good town for them.”