On Monday night, the Columbia Plan Commission heard details of a proposed 11,600-square-foot development at 306 Southport Drive across Palmer Road from Red Roof Liquor & Lottery.
Land grading at the site was completed earlier this year.
Four commercial spaces are planned for that site, it was said Monday night, which is the foundation for an Enterprise rent-a-car location. Other possible businesses include Starbucks coffee, a gaming lounge and an accounting office.
The commission passed a motion to the Columbia City Council recommending approval for a special use permit at that location.
Scott Dunacky, Columbia’s director of community development, explained that a special use permit is required to allow a car rental business in a commercial park district zone.
Dunaki added that the area is already slated for “significant” retail development as described during the meeting.
“I don’t see a lot of negativity here,” he said.
The four buildings include a 1,500-square-foot future restaurant that Dunacky said was “intended to be a Starbucks.”
Dunake further explained that two of the four buildings will be designed for multiple tenants. The Enterprise Rent-A-Car office will occupy one unit of the three-unit commercial building.
The site plan provides for 150 parking spaces (including 10 ADA accessible spaces) to be shared by the development in accordance with city code and “should provide sufficient additional parking to accommodate the proposed rental car business,” the staff report reads.
The report also addressed traffic concerns, stating that “the subdivision was designed and constructed for significant retail development. The proposed rental car business should generate traffic volumes within the capacity of the existing street system and is not expected to negatively impact road congestion or safety.”
The development is being proposed by Top Quality Holdings, represented by Chris Kalbfleisch.
He is best known as the owner of Quality Collision of Columbia and Waterloo, which recently sold its auto body operations to Caliber Collision and focused on mechanics and repair under the new name Quality Auto Repair.
The Columbia City Council will vote on the special use permit request at a future meeting.
In late 2019, the City of Columbia passed an ordinance establishing a cannabis dispensary as a land use on a specific area of land near Southport Drive.
The requirement that such businesses be built in a commercial park district zone with proximity to an interstate highway and a buffer from a school zone restricts a potential dispensary site at this proposed development, but one could be built a little further west.
In other news, plans are already underway for another business venture at the Main Street Abbey complex in the 300 block of South Main Street in Columbia.
The site was once home to Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and a school.
Dunaki confirmed that developers submitted building permit applications several weeks ago to convert part of the old ICS school into a 32-room, hotel-type business.
The city has since approved the first phase of hotel renovations in the school building.
Development owner Greg Crawford shared similar plans there in late 2019, though progress was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.