A new Colman business is hoping to be the incentive other entrepreneurs need to open their businesses, too.
Owners of Premier Drive Thru Storage, being built in the Hillcrest Industrial Park east of town, originally planned to offer up to 10 drive-through storage units for RVs or larger vehicles. While that still is part of the business plan, the owners also are considering offering bay space to other businesses who might need that kind of location for the work they do, said co-owner Susie Rennick.
She and her fiancé, Chad Koopsma, plan to have the business open by mid-November. She has seen other storage businesses who have leased space to a cross-fit gym and for uses to small business owners who need the space.
“We’re trying to think of it as kind of a multi-use building,” she said.
The couple will customize bay space so that a business could lease between 1,100 and 4,400 square feet, that would have electricity and the option for water and sewer. She and Koopsma saw the potential once they started looking around their community and realized there are no buildings available for commercial use, she said.
Businesses within the storage building is an acceptable use under city rules, she said. The couple is working with the city to try and get additional state grant money for economic development infrastructure for the community.
Rennick and Koopsma started thinking about starting a storage business earlier this year, focusing on the drive-through concept because it is difficult to park large RVs in enclosed spaces. Colman also is a direct route down S.D. Highway 34 to Lake Madison and Lake Herman.
“We wanted to start something in Colman since that’s where we live. We wanted to help grow Colman,” Rennick said. They liked the storage unit business because it would still allow them to continue to work their other jobs. She is a human resources manager at a manufacturing company in Madison and he is co-owner of a Renner distribution company.
The storage units have concrete floors, are insulated, come with lights and electricity, are equipped with garage door openers and include access to an on-site dump station. A single unit is 65-by-17 feet. For additional information, contact [email protected]
Realtor Lori Hansen, who is on the Colman Economic Development Corporation, said the new area of the industrial park, has 17 acres available and is a certified ready site so the groundwork is done, which will save developers time. Work also was done this summer to put in curb and gutter and streets.
“We hoped that being a certified ready site, it would be a big incentive for developers,” she said.
The park also has frontage along busy Highway 34. “We’d love a strip mall to go in there,” Hansen said.
The industrial park development is happening at the same time that the economic development group has had success selling housing lots in nearby Sunrise Ridge. This year, the group has sold 16 lots, with two left for sale, she said. Five homes are currently under construction.
“It’s so nice to see all those homes go up,” she said.