Advance Auto moving to former Tri Par site in Port; O’Reilly building in Saukville
Shade-tree mechanics rejoice. There is a race of sorts being waged between two national auto parts chains building retail outlets on Highway 33.
On Port Washington’s west side, an Advance Auto Parts store is being erected on the site of the former Tri Par gas station and Video Plus store at 1430 W. Grand Ave.
Officials with Advance told the city in February they had been looking for a site in Port for almost two years.
Converting the former gas station site proved challenging after contaminated soils were discovered. Two rounds of remediation were required before excavation could proceed.
Store officials made points with city leaders after proposing to spend $20,000 on landscaping to beautify what is seen as a gateway business on the busy Grand Avenue corridor.
“That just made it 1,000 times better than what we have right now,” said Ald. Dan Becker, who also serves on the city’s Plan Commission.
“It will certainly be a major improvement at that entrance to the city,” Mayor Tom Mlada said during the commission’s site plan review in February.
In addition to converting the existing building to the new use, a 2,000-square-foot warehouse is being built on the east side of the property. The addition will have a two-story racking system for inventory.
Based in Roanoke, Va., Advance is the largest automotive parts dealer in North America. Founded in 1932, it operates more than 5,200 stores and serves approximately 1,300 independently owned Carquest retailers.
Just up the road in Saukville, construction is progressing on a 7,053-square-foot O’Reilly Auto Parts store being built on the site of the long-vacant Brigadoon gift shop, which was razed. The property is across the street from the Schmit Bros. auto dealerships.
The address will be 639 E. Green Bay Ave.
O’Reilly representatives approached the village in fall of 2013 about building in the community. The village’s Plan Commission approved the site plan last summer.
According to the general contractor, the building is expected to be complete by the end of August.
Like its competitor in Port, the store will be adding significant landscaping to the site. An array of trees is planned at the southeast corner of the property.
Although it fronts Highway 33, the store will be accessed from a drive off Green Bay Road. The parking lot will have spaces for 38 vehicles.
After construction is complete, a small outlot will remain, meaning additional retail development is possible on the site.
O’Reilly has a retail outlet in Grafton, which company representatives said will not be affected by the new Saukville store. The company has a policy of keeping stores at least three miles apart.
O’Reilly Automotive is based in Springfield, Mo. Founded in 1957, it has grown to include 4,100 stores in 49 states.
It is the third-largest auto parts chain in the country.