New Casey's store proposed for southeast Iowa City

Project pending rezoning request approval

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A new Casey’s General Store could be headed for southeast Iowa City.

The Ankeny-based chain has submitted a request to the city to rezone a section of property near the intersection of Highway 6 and Broadway Street. The 2.3-acre site across from Pepperwood Plaza has been vacant since 2006, when an apartment building and law office were torn down.

Casey’s Chief Financial Officer Bill Walljasper said the 4,200-square-foot store would include carryout pizza, made-to-order sub sandwiches and a beer vault. It would be the fifth Casey’s store in the Iowa City-Coralville area.

“It’s going to have the amenities of our newest stores, so it’s a little bit larger,” Walljasper said.

Current plans call for 16 gas pumps on the property, with one access from Broadway Street. An open space on the southeast portion of the site would serve as a stormwater basin and provide a buffer between the store and a residential neighborhood.

If the rezoning is approved, Walljasper said the store could be open this fall.

Bob Miklo, senior planner, said city staff is working with Casey’s on a site plan that addresses issues of lighting, noise, building design and landscaping.

“Hopefully we’ll have something in the next few weeks that we feel is a positive for the neighborhood and the shopping district there,” Miklo said. “We’re not there yet, but we’re having good discussions with the applicant.”

The proposed site is located about a quarter-mile west of a BP gas station on Keokuk Street. Miklo said proximity to other similar businesses is considered when city staff evaluates proposals.

“I don’t think the area is saturated with gas stations,” Miklo said. “There’s one to the east, but not until you get to the edge of town.”

Much of the area where the store, gas pumps and parking lot would be located is already zoned appropriately. A Sonic restaurant had been planned for the site when demolition took place, but was never built.

About one acre of the site would need to be rezoned from commercial office to community commercial for the project to move forward. In addition, the city would need to change its comprehensive land use plan. The plan map currently indicates the area would be appropriate for apartment buildings.

The city’s Planning and Zoning Commission is expected to consider a change to the comprehensive land use plan on March 7. The rezoning request could come before the city council in early April.

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