Residents who drive or live on the southeast side of St. Michael will see some new earthwork taking place soon, as Boyer Truck begins grading for its new 84,000 square foot sales and repair facility on the northwest corner of County Rd. 36 and Ogren Ave. NE, just east of Interstate 94’s St. Michael exit. The business plans to close on the land later this week, and grading should begin soon after.
Earlier this spring, the city approved a comprehensive plan amendment and final plat for the 80 acre space. Outlets B and C, along with the Lot 1, Block 1 area that will house the new Boyer Truck facility, has been rezoned to industrial land, while Outlot A remains commercial land for uses such as retail and office space. The land was formerly zoned mostly commercial land, with an area of medium density residential. Councilmembers and planning commissioners agreed this interstate-friendly parcel, which has now been named the St. Michael I94 Business Park, was a good fit for the vehicle sales and repair business.
Boyer Truck owner, Kurt Schmidt, said their commercial truck business works mostly with local businesses and government agencies to repair snowplows, rescue vehicles, motor homes and lighter duty vehicles. The new building will have 30 bays to service vehicles and will employ 50-75 people at this site, who will work both first and second shift.
Several residents of St. Michael’s Tributary neighborhood voiced their opposition to the project, with complaints ranging from disrupting the view from their homes to declining home value, noise, and traffic concerns. The Tributary neighborhood sits just east of Ogren Ave. NE, and the Boyer Truck facility will be built just west of Ogren.
However, Community Development Director, Marc Weigle, said the proposed business would create a lower traffic volume than retail, helps with the city’s tax base, and would provide jobs for people living in the area. However, the city did ask for a Master PUD Plan so it could retain better control over the areas right next to the residential homes. The PUD also states that loading docks and the like may not be on the same side as or visible from Ogren Ave., and it prohibits outdoor storage except with a conditional use permit. If a permit is granted, the outdoor storage would be limited to 20 percent of the site and could only be located on the rear yard furthest from Ogren Ave.