Two new buildings — an office and an industrial building — both passed different stages in a Chaska City Council vote Monday night. The council passed a preliminary site and building plan for a new office building in eastern Chaska and a concept plan for an industrial building in northeast Chaska.

NEW OFFICE

The first building, a proposed one-story office, would be at the northeast corner of Pioneer Trail and Audubon Road, just north of Highway 212.

The newly-dubbed Pioneer Professional Building would accompany several already-existing offices, including the Chaska Dental Center, American Family Insurance and an engineering consultant. The block began development plans over 20 years ago, and this is its last stage.

Upon a future final vote, construction would begin in spring, City Planner Elizabeth Hanson said.

She added the building is designed with neighbors in mind. Parking lot spaces are strategically placed to limit light pollution from vehicle headlights. The building has a residential “Chaskan feel” of brick and sloped roofing. Pole lights were designed shorter than the building to shield any possibility of glare in nearby windows, and overstory trees were included in landscape plans.

Parking stalls will increase to just over 30 to make room for the new occupant and its clients. The number of stalls is something some councilors are noting.

“It’s a little concerning, but it’s nothing I would say ‘no’ to at this point,” Councilor Jon Grau said before voting. “I do appreciate the fact that they’re trying to handle light pollution with the building being laid out and not trying to build the largest possible building.”

The end-user has yet to be determined, but Hanson said it could be a single- or multi-tenant building.

The City Council will meet with project managers again before deciding on a final vote on the first office building.

INDUSTRIAL BUILDING

Plans to turn an existing parking lot, just north of the District Education Center, into an office/warehouse industrial building are making small steps toward reality. A concept plan for a two-story building was approved by the City Council.

Hanson said the building, which councilors pointed out is in a visible area, has a modern look. Contrary to a typical warehouse, plenty of windows compliment the bright blue versus classic brick look.

Project drawings show the building appears to have three stories from certain angles, but Hanson said it’s not out of character for that area. The building would stand 40 feet tall at its highest point.

A wetland on the eastern side of the site may warrant a mitigation plan in the future, but it likely wouldn’t be affected much according to Hanson. Employee parking would likely remain on the north and west sides of the building, not to the east where the wetland sits, and the lot would be capped at the south end to reduce stormwater impacts.

“The goal is to hopefully maintain that, mostly,” Hanson said.

Also currently on the site, on the northwest side of the four-acres, is a small CenturyLink building, which would remain upon construction.

The Eastern Carver County School District building currently connects, via a parking lot to the proposed site. Hanson said that driveway will be removed and the district building will still have access.

The owner of the site intends to sell the property, once plans have been approved.

Now that the warehouse’s concept plan has been approved, additional council meetings to determine the site’s future are to come.

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