Village sets conditions for operation in former Piggly Wiggly grocery site
It took some tweaking of the Village of Saukville’s zoning code and a carefully crafted conditional-use permit, but the way is now clear for the operation of a U-Haul rental business in the former Piggly Wiggly store on East Green Bay Avenue.
The former grocery store at 835 E. Green Bay Ave. has been vacant since Fox Piggly Wiggly relocated across the street into the former Pick ‘n Save building in late 2014.
U-Haul representatives approached village officials in March with the plan to convert the building into a self-storage business and a rental center for trailers, moving trucks and supplies.
Hansen’s Management Services has owned the building but it will be acquired by AMERCO Real Estate/U-Haul.
The plan would be to operate a retail showroom and rent secure storage units at the location.
Michael Schneider of U-Haul said the rental units would be individually alarmed and monitored by video equipment.
Renters would access the building using digital swipe cards, with an up-charge for customers who need 24-hour access.
Use of the swipe card will allow after-hours access for only one hour before the alarm system rearms itself.
Other security measures will include motion detectors, door contact sensors and glass breakage sensors which will be monitored at U-Haul’s security center.
Inside the building, Schneider said the business would feature a 4,500-square-foot retail showroom.
Converting the building to the new use is expected to cost about $1 million, according to village documents.
The business is expected to employ 20 people, and have security personnel on staff around the clock.
The plan calls for parking for 84 vehicles, using the same parking area previously used by the grocery store.
There will be no unscreened storage of vehicles on the property, village officials were assured.
Village officials were also told the business would make site improvements on the property.
“We do not intend on changing the way the building and landscaping is configured, other than making it look clean and fresh and maintaining the image of a well-kept property for the life of our ownership,” Schneider said in a summary presented to the village.
“Once we move in, we aren’t going anywhere. We like to be involved in the community.”
Before the village could approve the business proposal, the zoning code needed to be altered to allow storage businesses as a conditional use in the B-4 commercial district. Until the change, storage businesses were not allowed in the district.
That change was approved by the Village Board following a public hearing which failed to generate any comments.
The Plan Commission then went about drafting a conditional-use permit that dictates how the rental business must operate.
Among the conditions, all storage units will only be accessible from the interior of the building. The storage units are to be used only for personal items, and may not be the site of commercial or manufacturing activity.
The hours of operations will be Mondays through Thursdays, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fridays, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sundays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Schneider told village officials U-Haul plans to initially rent trucks and trailers from a temporary office on site while more permanent improvements are made.
All exterior improvements and landscaping is to be completed by Dec. 31.