ANDERSON – Two new businesses are planning to open at locations that members of a city board described as eyesores.
The Board of Zoning Appeals on Wednesday approved variances and a special exception for businesses looking to locate at 38th and Main streets and at Eighth Street and College Drive.
A&H Express, owned by Mike Singh, plans to demolish the existing former gas station and auto repair at Eighth Street and College Drive and construct a new convenience store and gas station with an adjoining storefront.
Singh intends to build a 3,000-square-foot convenience store and adjoining 4,300-square-foot building for a future tenant that will face College Drive.
The BZA approved a special exception for the business to operate on property zoned for business and variances to allow the gasoline pump canopy to extend 13 feet over the setback requirement and from the minimum green space requirement.
Steve Servies of Servies Engineering and Surveying said the site is a gateway to the downtown area.
“This will be a vast improvement to what is currently there,” he said. “It will benefit the Anderson University community and bring at least one other viable business into the area.”
Because of the limited size of the site, Servies said, the new development will have approximately 15 percent green space instead of the minimum 25 percent lot coverage.
Rudy Williams, BZA vice chairman, said the property has been an eyesore for a long time.
BZA member Greg Spencer said the developer is doing his best to locate on the site.
The BZA approved two variances for Ken Kocinski to locate a second KT Pawn Shop at the northeast corner of 38th and Main streets. The site's existing building housed the former chiropractic offices of Dr. Gary Young.
Kocinski plans to demolish the office building and an adjacent house and construct a 4,565-square-foot metal building.
The two variances approved were for the minimum green space requirement and for the placement of a sign at the intersection.
Tim Stires, deputy director of the Anderson Municipal Development Department, said the BZA recently approved a similar project for the former Nuce Auto Repair business on the southwest side of the intersection.
“That site had zero green space and the board approved a landscaping plan for 5.6 percent of green space,” Stires said.
Attorney Tom Beeman, representing Kocinski, said the property has been unused for at least five years.
“By adding the property with the house it makes the site development possible,” he said.
Beeman said KT Pawn is investing $300,000 on the project and would continue to operate the second location on Scatterfield Road and 10th Street.
“This adds another new building and business in the Meadowbrook area,” he said.
Servies said it’s difficult to meet the design standards for an existing property.
Spencer said he normally negotiates with developers to include more green space but it’s better for the city to have a developed site.
“What you see today is an eyesore,” Kocinski said. “It will look more attractive by the end of the year.”