REED CITY — The Reed City Planning Commission approved the preliminary plans for the new Ebels store but there is still much in the works before demolition can begin.
With the planning commission's approval during a special meeting on March 12, the preliminary plans to demolish Vic's and build a new store are set to move on to the zoning board of appeals. Bob Ebels, however, said there is still much to figure out before family is set to go ahead with any plans.
"Not much has changed since I last said anything about it," Ebels said. "I can't say we are going to go with (the plan) because everything hasn't been figured out."
The preliminary plan was originally presented to the planning commission on March 2 by Reed City City Manager Ron Howell that included the knocking down of Vic’s to reconfigure the location of a new Ebels building.
The new store would attach to the end of the strip mall that currently exists and go all the way to the end of the north end of the lot.
If a new building is constructed it would be 17,248 square feet, with 12,188 square feet of sales floor and 5,060 square feet of storage space at the back of the building, according to the preliminary plans. This is between 4,000 and 5,000 square feet more than what the Vic’s building has to offer, Ebels Co-owner Bob Ebels said.
Before a new building is to be constructed, Ebels needs a zoning variance to allow for the building to butt up against the existing residential lots behind the strip mall.
A variance was given to the strip mall in 2003, Howell said, to allow for them to go back an extra 16 feet.
But Ebels said this preliminary plan approved by the commission is not set in stone and that Ebels could still go the route of using the current Vic’s building.
"If a building new proves to be cost-prohibitive, then that just isn't possible," he said. "I would like to go that route but there are too many factors to say we are 100% set on it."
Though the city is still planning to move forward with the zoning process, Howell said the city will work with Ebels should any changes arise due to cost or changes to the approved plan.
"The city has received and processed through the plans presented to the commission and will be going ahead to the zoning board of appeals for the variance," he said. "However, if something were to change, the city would be willing to work with Ebels."
The zoning board meeting is still to be set and will be announced at a later date. The meeting will be electronic as the city moves to all online meetings per the State of Michigan.