Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

Wash Me car wash staying for now

Posted on 28 May 2018 by calvin

Above: The updated building concept at the northeastern corner of Hiawatha and 42nd reflects a more urban design with higher density and multi-uses. (Photo submitted)

One-story Starbucks and Dominos reimagined as urban four-story building

By TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN
The Starbucks and Dominos proposed at 42nd St. and Hiawatha Ave. is no longer on the table, and instead the property owner is looking at a four-story, multi-use building to fit with the urban setting of the location.

When neighborhood residents, the Longfellow Community Council, the Standish-Ericsson Neighborhood Association and the Planning Commission voiced concerns about the initially-proposed two single-story buildings with two drive-throughs, property owner Nic Boosalis restarted from scratch.

Boosalis has owned the Wash Me car wash at this intersection since 1985, and also operates one along Nicollet and another in Hopkins. Additionally, Boosalis owns PooPrints, a company that uses DNA technology to ensure that dog owners pick up dog waste.

Over the years, he has periodically explored other uses for the 42nd and Hiawatha site, Boosalis explained.

However, there is no timeline for this conceived four-story redevelopment.

“It’s a work in progress,” stated Boosalis. “It may get built or it may not. Until then, the car wash will continue to operate as it does now.”

Three businesses, 40 micro-apartments
According to Boosalis, the updated plan meets the city’s goals for the corridor with higher density and housing.

The current plan has space for two to three businesses on the main level, with a drive-through behind and under the building that is not visible from Hiawatha.

On the next three floors are 40 units of micro-apartments with one bedroom or less. These smaller apartments for singles or couples are one way to make housing units more affordable, explained Boosalis.

The plan calls for about 20 parking spaces. It is not anticipated that residents would have vehicles, but would instead use light rail, bike or walk.

Boosalis pointed out that the car wash currently has seven bays, and vehicles are continually coming and going. He doesn’t think that the proposed plan would increase the number of vehicles moving through the site.

“This is a dramatic and positive change in what’s being proposed,” stated council member Andrew Johnson. “It adds much-needed housing at a time when a lack of supply is contributing to rising rents, and the design is more urban, less suburban.

“Residents and our neighborhood associations unquestionably made a difference on this by speaking up with concerns about the original proposal, which helped drive this change. Nick also deserves credit for listening to our community and being willing to go back to the drawing board.”

U-Haul pulls proposal
U-Haul has pulled its plan to construct a five-story self-storage facility on the southeastern side of the 42nd and Hiawatha intersection after city staff recommended denial of the proposal.

The company is considering its options at this time, which include seeking Planning Commission approval despite the recommended denial, converting the existing single-story warehouse into a self-storage facility, or creating a new plan that integrates housing and active commercial space.

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