A second business development involving cars is in the works for a property on Main Street in Marshall.
The planning commission on Jan. 27 heard a pitch from Jerry Harbort, who hopes to transform his vacant property at 436 W. Main St. into a car dealership and repair center. Though the commission meeting did not feature any action, members expressed support for the idea.
Once home to Kwik Trip, the property would now feature a vehicle sales lot while also offering car repair services. Another entrepreneur, Maksym Parker, has already purchased the adjacent property once home to the Kwik Trip car wash, with the intention of also turning the location into an auto repair/sales business.
Harbort explained that he felt a car dealership would be the most financially feasible business venture for his location and wasn’t concerned about competition with Parker’s development. Commission members agreed with the latter, stating that competition would be likely to be good for Marshall.
“I’ve gone into small municipalities where there have been competing entities right next door to each other and sometimes they feed off from each other,” Village President John Schuepbach said.
Harbort’s development would repurpose the former Kwik Trip building as a sales office, while the west side of the property would most likely be home to a series of structures where vehicles could be repaired. The majority of traffic flow would also be restricted to the entrance off Midvale Drive, whereas the Hillside Drive access would be closed off with a gate and would only be used for unloading vehicles.
Harbort hopes to focus the business on auto sales and plans to feature around 20 cars on the property at any one time. Because of this, he must also request a rezone of his property in order to change the zoning to highway business.
Parker’s venture was also originally planned to be primarily a car dealership, but commission and resident input convinced him to focus on vehicle repair. Ultimately, the commission recommended the village board approve a conditional use permit that would allow Parker to sell up to six vehicles on his property, though Parker has yet to reach out to the village board about moving forward.
With Harbort’s property being much larger than Parker’s, the commission was more comfortable allowing a greater number of vehicles to be sold.
Other commission action:
• Recommended the village board look into the possibility of extending Maunesha Drive, which currently consists of three separate stretches of road connected to Riverview Drive, Sunnyview Lane and Parkview Lane, respectively.
• Recommended the village board begin negotiating a transfer of village-owned land on Freidel Drive to woodworking company Auburn Ridge.