Auto parts store proposed along Coon Rapids Boulevard

An auto parts store has been proposed for vacant property on Coon Rapids Boulevard where the EZ Serve gas station was once located.

The Coon Rapids Planning Commission Sept. 19 approved a site plan for O’Reilly Auto Parts store at 2111 Coon Rapids Blvd.

But while the site plan was approved, the commission wants changes  made to the building design to enhance its look and be presented to planning staff for approval before a building permit is issued, according to Marc Nevinski, city community development director.

O’Reilly is presently located in the building on Coon Rapids Boulevard between the Coon Rapids VFW and Hi-Ten Service Center.

It is planning a 7,300 square-foot building on the new site, which lies between Quinn Street and Hanson Boulevard.

Other auto parts stores will surround it east and west on the boulevard and the property is zoned for general commercial use.

The site plan includes 30 parking spaces and two driveways off Coon Rapids Boulevard.

The one-story building will be split-faced block and stone with raised parapets and a canopy over the entrance.

The parapets are only two feet higher than the single-story building and the commission wants greater two-story expression, as well as additional use of glass to break up the block and stone of the warehouse portion of the store, Nevinski said.

The majority of the parking will be provided on the east side of the building with a single row of parking facing the building on Coon Rapids Boulevard.

According to Planner Scott Harlicker, the existing screening, a mix of elm, cottonwood and birch trees plus assorted species of shrubs, between the new building and the single-family homes to the north will be preserved.

But Harlicker recommended and the commission added as a condition of approval, a revision to the proposed landscape plan for an additional overstory tree along Coon Rapids Boulevard for six instead of five, and the proposed ornamental trees be changed to overstory trees.

In addition, a 200 square-foot landscaped bed around the monument sign and ornamental trees are required along the front of the store “to soften the front of the building,” Harlicker said.

The site plan approval conditions also require the landscaped area to be irrigated and a seating area, trash receptacle and bike rack to be placed near the entrance.

Headquartered in Springfield, Mo., O’Reilly Auto Parts began as a single store in 1957 and now has 4,014 stores nationwide.

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

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