Update 4/2/18 – The Sun Prairie City Council unanimously rejected the Slinde Realty plan to build a self-storage facility on Ironwood Drive. Though the developer used resident feedback to alter the site plan, limiting vehicle ingress and egress to Oxford Place, homeowners still vocally opposed the project during the March 20 meeting.
The council would have violated citizen trust if it approved the development amendment needed for the project, said resident Jim Polcyn, who lives directly across from the proposed building site. Neighbors reiterated their desire for a restaurant or senior-housing complex.
Some council members indicated they weren’t against the project as much as the location. “I think it’s a great facility in a really bad place,” said Al Guyant, council president.
3/20/18 – The Sun Prairie, Wis., Planning Commission voted 5-4 against recommending a self-storage facility proposed by boutique real estate services firm Slinde Realty Co. Developer Bert Slinde intends to build a multi-story, 101,600-square-foot storage facility on 4.8 acres at 2750 Ironwood Drive. Several residents oppose the project, arguing it’s an industrial use that would increase traffic and crime, according to the source.
“My husband and I purchased our lot based on the understanding that the empty lot bordering our neighborhood was zoned and intended for residential/commercial,” resident Karli Fentress wrote in an e-mail to the commission. “If the city decides to change this to an industrial zone, after the fact, we’d feel like we were lied to.”
Several residents requested a restaurant be built on the site, though commissioners and others pointed out an eatery would create more vehicle traffic than self-storage. Other residents predicted the storage facility would entice crime and the neighborhood would experience an increase in burglaries. Self-storage facilities in Sun Prairie have experienced about six burglaries since 2015, according to police statistics shared by planner Sarah Sauer.
Two demand studies indicated the city is an underserved market for self-storage, Slinde told the commission. He indicated the plan had been reduced from 750 units to 600 and would include 30 security cameras. Slinde Realty also upgraded the exterior design based on feedback from city planning staff, according to community-development director Scott Kugler.
The project received support from Mayor Paul Esser and Sun Prairie School Board member Dave Hoekstra, both noting the project would have a low traffic impact on the community. “I don’t think you could have a lower impact use on this property,” Hoekstra said during the public hearing.
The proposal is scheduled to be considered by the city council on March 20.
With offices in Chicago and Madison, Wis., Slinde Realty is a commercial real estate and investment brokerage and advisory firm. It specializes in light-industrial, mixed-use, multi-housing and retail development in the Midwest, according to its website.
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