Proposed Auto Shop on Washington Avenue in Alpena

Proposed Location of Auto Repair Shop
Proposed Location of Auto Repair Shop

ALPENA, MI – Allen Reynolds is asking for a Special Land Use Permit to construct a new state-of-the-art auto repair shop on Washington Avenue between the Bushes & Blooms garden center and a house to the west of the proposed site.

The purposed auto shop would be a 40’ x 72’ pole barn-type structure, however, Reynolds would be required to soften the look of the building with brick or some other materials.

Prior to the property being leveled, an old home stood.  The house had been renovated and sold.  It was not long after that the home caught fire and was destroyed. For many months the blighted burned out structure stood.  It is unknown why it took so long for it to be torn down but eventually was.

The City of Alpena and its residents should take great consideration on this proposed structure and its location.  Over the years the stretch of road between Ripley Boulevard and 11th Street has seen many changes.

Currently the City of Alpena is dealing with slow progress of Freedom Motors to construct its new facility at the corner of Washington Avenue and Charlotte Street on the old Linke’s Nursery property.  In its current state, the construction on the Freedom Motors property is questionable at best.  Concerns are already growing in the surrounding neighborhood that this particular business will not be a welcome addition.  Freedom Motors is taking use of a pole barn-type structure already on the property.

Across the street from the Freedom Motors property is the old Huggler Oil Service Station that stands between the railroad tracks and the Bushes & Blooms garden center.  This particular building has honestly outlasted its original purpose.  As time marches on, this building looks more derelict every day.

On the opposite corner of Washington Avenue and Charlotte Street is an office building that once housed Hennessy’s IGA.  The building was converted to office space some forty five years ago when Jim and Irma Hennessy retired.  This structure has not seen any type of makeover since that time.  The back office space is currently occupied by Twarozynski Law.  The front office is unoccupied and up for lease.

Bushes & Blooms property is always well organized and it is obvious that they take pride in how the community sees their operation.

The proposed location for yet another auto repair place and coupled with the fact that the structure would be yet another pole barn-type structure in the area does not fit well.  The residents of the Alpena area are pro business but they must also look towards the future. What happens if the proposed auto repair shop cannot generate enough business?  Residents would then be stuck with an empty looking pole barn leading out to a growing and prospering business area.

Consideration also has to be given that traffic on that stretch of Washington Avenue will continue to increase both in bound and out bound on M-32 with Meijer opening within the next year and other business entities in the M-32/Bagley area taking root.

The Alpena Planning Commission will be conducting a public hearing on Tuesday, July 8, beginning at 7 p.m.  Public input is greatly encouraged.  Questions and comments prior to the meeting can be directed to Adam Poll at 354-1771.


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