New garden center coming to Anoka this spring

A new garden center will be setting up shop on East River Road in Anoka.

Anoka City Council has approved a conditional use permit, allowing Plant Place, Inc. to move into the site at 814 East River Road.

Along with the garden center, owner Jim Schroer also plans to add at 1,200 square-foot greenhouse to the property. This would be used to house tender plants, said City Planner Erik Thorvig. More hardy shrubs and evergreens would be on display under the existing canopy.

This property previously held a conditional use permit to operate a used vehicle sales business revoked in January 2011 after it sat vacant for more than a year.

The council would also be required to give its approval for a different type of business to come in and operate on the property.

“Any change of use from a garden center will require a conditional use amendment,” Thorvig said.

Given the property’s vacancy and disrepair, some council members said they were looking forward to seeing this property improved.

“It will be welcome to have a business there and the neighborhood will benefit from that,” said Councilmember Mark Freeburg.

The application was also reviewed by the Planning Commission earlier this month. The commission included the condition that the business add a strip of landscape buffer along East River Road, the width of the existing planter between the two accesses. It could be filled with rocks, plantings or sodded.

The council agreed with the condition and will allow the garden center the next six months to complete this project.

Thorvig said because of the unseasonably warm spring, the greenhouse is expected to open about a month ahead of schedule.

Mandy Moran Froemming is at editor.anokaunion@ecm-inc.com

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