Large Coon Rapids freight terminal is proposed

A large freight terminal, offices and maintenance building project has been proposed in Evergreen Business Park, Coon Rapids.

dayton freightDayton Freight Lines, Inc. has submitted a site plan for an 87,000 square-foot freight terminal with offices and a 30,000 square-foot maintenance building on 23 acres of land at 87th Lane and Evergreen Boulevard.

The Coon Rapids Planning Commission has scheduled a public hearing and will consider the site plan at its meeting Thursday, Jan. 17, 7 p.m., in the Coon Rapids City Center council chambers.

According to Planner Scott Harlicker, the entire project will be brought before the commission for approval, but it is proposed in two phases.

The freight terminal when built-out calls for 143 doors with 85 in the first phase, Harlicker said.

But the office space and the maintenance facility will be part of phase one, he said.

The project site lies across Evergreen Boulevard from Honeywell and is located south of the Emma B. Howe Family YMCA, Harlicker said.

Most of the site is zoned industrial, with a small portion fronting Springbrook Drive next to the Aldi store having a community commercial land use designation as a result of recent Coon Rapids City Council action on a recommendation from the Planning Commission, he said.

That part of the project site has been set aside for storm water ponding, Harlicker said.

All access from the site will be on to Evergreen Boulevard, none to Springbrook Drive, he said.

According to Harlicker, a concern with the proposal is traffic – the amount generated by the freight terminal and where it will go.

As a result, the city has asked J.H. Architects, Inc., which has submitted the site plan on behalf of Dayton Freight, to prepare a traffic study, Harlicker said.

Evergreen Boulevard intersects with 85th Avenue N.W. (County Road 132) to the south, but dead-ends to the north with a right turn on to 93rd Avenue taking traffic to Coon Rapids Boulevard.

Dayton Freight Lines, Inc., which is headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, currently has Minnesota facilities in Maple Grove and Lakeville, but this project would be a lot larger than those two, Harlicker said.

According to Harlicker, the Dayton Freight Lines, Inc. project was presented to the city shortly after the Coon Rapids City Council, at a work session Nov. 27, rejected a proposal recommended by the Planning Commission and planning staff to replace the industrial zoning district in Evergreen Business Park with business park zoning regulations.

That proposal would have eliminated some uses now allowed in industrial zoned and land use designated areas, including freight terminals as a primary use.

The commission’s decision on a site plan is final, unless appealed to the city council.

Founded in 1981, Dayton Freight Lines, Inc. is a private, regional LTL (less than truckload) freight carrier with 44 company-owned service centers in the Midwest region.

According to its website, Dayton Freight’s core service area is Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

But through a strategic alliance network, its service area extends to all of the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Guam, the website states.

Dayton Freight has 2,800 employees, 1,100 tractors and 2,400 trailers.

In October 2012, Dayton Freight received Transfreight’s LTL Carrier of the Year Award for superior on time and intact service.

Peter Bodley is at peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com

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