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Development and businesses to grow in Roberts

Looking east from 70th Avenue toward the 65-acre parcel owned by 311 LLC that was leveled this fall to increase its desir­ability for commercial development. Flying J Truck Stop is immediately to the east, the interstate to the north. (Photo by Sarah Young)

According to Wisconsin Department of Administration demographic studies in the last few years, St. Croix County is one of the fastest-growing counties in the state. Communities such as Roberts, Hammond, Baldwin and Woodville will double in population by 2035, according to these studies.

The growth is evident around Roberts. Properties will remain desirable to developers due to proximity to the Twin Cities and easy access thanks to Interstate 94, especially now that the Roberts interchange is done.

Sunnyside Super Storage

Buster and Dustin Wolvert of Sunnyside Super Storage in New Richmond plan to build a new storage facility in the spring near the western roundabout at the junctions of Highways 65 and 12. Buster has been in the storage unit business since 1996, Dustin said.

According to Dustin, the site is just shy of 20 acres. As soon as an excavator can work the ground, construction will begin.

“Roberts is a great little town,” Dustin said. “We thought about buying other facilities because we’ve had success with the others.”

Ultimately, the Wolverts decided to build at the Town of Warren site. They also own a storage facility in Amery.

Dustin said the New Richmond property, located at the intersection of Highway 65 and County Road G, is so successful they haven’t needed to advertise. Dustin credits some of their success to people seeing the facility as they drive by on the highway.

The new Roberts site will feature blacktopped parking, concrete floors and security cameras. The size of the facility is still in the planning stage, Dustin said.

“It’s going to be something special,” Dustin said. “We will plant a lot of trees all around it. I’m really excited for Roberts. It’s going to be a beautiful facility.”

Dustin, who lives in Hudson, said storage facility rates have spiked there, so they’re hoping to attract business from people who have storage units in Hudson currently.

The Wolverts rates start at $25 a month. For more information, call 651-734-8475.

Village park expansion

According to Village Clerk Doreen Kruschke, the village is moving ahead with purchasing 9.3 acres of land to add to the Village Park.

Kruschke said the majority of the land is immediately south of the existing park. A small strip to the east would be included in the purchase as well.

Since a grant would fund the purchase, the village must get the land appraised and surveyed, Kruschke said.

While plans for the acreage aren’t finalized, Kruschke said building a walking path is a possibility.

Land west of Flying J Truck Stop

This fall, many people noticed the land immediately west of Flying J Truck Stop off of 70th Avenue north of the interstate was being leveled. The question is, why?

According to Tom Schuette of Azure Properties Inc., of St. Paul, Minn., the parcel in question is 65 acres. It has been owned by 311 LLC since 2000. 311 is a partnership of land investors.

“We graded the hill down to increase visibility of the property from the freeway and to increase the visibility for commercial use,” Schuette said. “It’s zoned commercial, industrial and mixed-use residential.”

The land was annexed by the Village of Roberts in 2007, according to Schuette. 311 LLC sold 10 acres for the Flying J to be built.

“I believe the eastern part of the property is more suited to commercial use, closest to the intersection,” Schuette said. “The western part could be used for multi-housing. We haven’t studied the demand or the feasibility of that yet.”

Schuette, who manages the property, said the topsoil was removed this fall and stored. They plan to re-spread the topsoil in the spring.

“Our intent is to farm all the land that can be farmed,” Schuette said.

He confirmed a local man will farm it, but declined to give a name.

The land is available for lease or a build-to-suit lease. Schuette said he envisions the land being divided into smaller parcels.