Amazon site plans given the all-clear in Beloit

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BELOIT — The final site plans for a proposed Amazon distribution center in the city’s industrial area were approved Thursday in a meeting of the Gateway Business Park Review Board.
The site plans, which shed additional details on the development, known by the code name “Project W”, reveal a 1,077,643-square-foot warehouse and distribution facility at 1255 Gateway Boulevard.
On Oct. 7, the Beloit City Council and Greater Beloit Economic Development Corporation (GBEDC) approved the project with officials verbally naming Amazon as the future tenant.
Thursday’s action to approve the final site plans comes with the stipulation that the go-ahead is subject to review by city staff. The fourth round of site plans are under review by city staff and final comments are due by Nov. 25.
“While this is the final set of plans, there will be some minor modifications that staff is likely to have to work through, particularly in the area of stormwater utility work,” said Beloit City Manager Lori Luther.
The distribution center will include a primary truck driveway on Gateway Boulevard, a secondary truck driveway on Colley Road and two driveways for employee passenger vehicles on Colley Road. The plans also include extensive stormwater management facilities, fencing and landscaping.
On Oct. 17, the Gateway Review Board approved the loading docks facing Gateway Boulevard. An 8-foot security fence will be built around the property along with 26 spruce, pine and fir trees to screen the loading docks, according to Beloit Director of Planning and Building Services Drew Pennington. A natural prairie area, similar to what’s near Kettle Foods in the business park, is also part of the landscaping. Notices to adjacent properties of the prairie plan were sent out on Nov. 14 and no objections are currently on file with the city, Pennington said.
A designated bus stop for employees will be added near the future employee entrance, according to site plans.
Remaining issues under discussion include the release of old and unused easements over the property and the draft traffic impact analysis for the development, Pennington said.
If the traffic study finds any mitigation or infrastructure expansion is needed due to the high truck volume at the site, Seefried Industrial Properties is responsible for those costs, according to the development agreement. When asked by the Beloit Daily News about the traffic issue, Luther said it’s “unlikely” any modifications will have to be made to the Gateway corridor due to the fact the business park was built to accommodate high volumes of freight traffic.
Few details of the development, including job creation and economic impact, have been released due to the lack of public incentives provided on the project. More details are expected when closing on the property occurs, something that’s expected by mid-December, according to GBEDC Executive Director Andrew Janke.
The October approvals set in motion a plan that allowed Atlanta-based Seefried Industrial Properties to partner with general contractor Ryan Companies and other subcontractors to start construction ahead of closing.
On Nov. 13, the GBEDC executive committee authorized an amendment to the development agreement that would allow Seefried and its partners to proceed with construction of footings, foundations, on-site utilities and retaining walls prior to the land sale being finalized.
Currently, grating and stormwater management work are underway at the site, Pennington said.
The distribution center is located on an 80-acre parcel southeast of the Colley Road and Gateway Boulevard intersection. 

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