A handful of people attended a forum Wednesday night to learn and ask questions about a $3.5 million plan to build a Speedway fuel and convenience store on the northeast corner of Industrial Drive and Michigan Avenue in Pittsfield Township.
“This is just a corner that we believe Speedway needs to be on,” said Jacob Miller, project manager for Speedway. Miller’s assessment is based on demographics and traffic counts. Miller said Speedway plans to retain its location at Michigan Avenue and Harris Street in downtown Saline.
Marathon, the parent company for Speedway, has an agreement to purchase four acres of land from Saline Area Schools for $840,000. The property will need to be rezoned from public facilities to regional commercial to allow a fuel stop. The master plan shows a future land use of neighborhood commercial.
Another obstacle is a plan to extend water and sewer utilities 3000 feet to serve the property. The sale of the land is not yet complete.
Speedway representatives described two plans for the property. Both included a 4,608 building with 10 fuel dispensers (or 20 pumps) and 28 to 37 parking spaces. The store will not include showers and other amenities for truck drivers.
One plan for the property has the pumps and store facing the corner. Another plan has the pumps perpendicular to Michigan Avenue, with the store facing Michigan Avenue (show above). Company officials prefer the latter plan.
Here are some of the details discussed during the meeting.
- A traffic plan is still being conducted, but the company may choose a “right-in, right out” traffic flow on Michigan Avenue, most likely giving up a left turn. Current plans call for a right-turn approach lane that would begin 150 to 200 feet east of the driveway. The plan for Industrial Drive is more liberal. Drivers could exit in either direction. A shorter right turn taper would allow for entrance off Industrial Drive. Saline Police Chief Jerrod Hart attended and advised to have a dedicated right turn lane. “If we don’t have a dedicated right turn lane, I think me and my officers will be dealing with more accidents,” Hart said, pointing to congestion before and after school.
- The cost of bringing the water and city utilities 3,000 feet east is expected to be around $1.5 million. One resident asked if properties in between will be required to connect. Speedway officials said that’s likely a question for township officials. Mandy Gauss, a senior project engineer with CESO, said the company did consider asking to be annexed into the city, noting that the city water extends to a fire hydrant just a few feet from their property. But, Gauss said, local governments were not interested in such an agreement.
- One resident expressed hope this location would be maintained better than the Saline location. Miller said the Saline location is on a small parcel. He said Speedway looked at options to expand their location, “But it didn’t work out,” Miller said.
- The underground storage tanks will be located a little more than 1,000 feet away from the nearest drinking well. Miller said modern tanks are safer, with doublewalled fiberglass. There are also sensors in the ground that would notify companies if there is a breach.
- One resident asked if there were plans for electric car charging stations. There are not.
- There will be an asphalt path along Michigan and a concrete sidewalk on Industrial.
- Miller said the Speedway development would ultimately make the school district’s adjoining property to the north more attractive and valuable.
- The store would include a Speedy Café where customers use a touch screen to order their food, then shop around the store before picking up their food. The company boasts this allows for fresher, tastier food.
- Company officials hope that if all goes well, they could begin construction by summer of 2020 and open by the fall of 2021.