ST. CLOUD -- A large new grocery warehouse and distribution center got the approval of the St. Cloud Planning Commission during a public hearing on Tuesday night.

Even though the project is going into the St. Cloud Business Park along Opportunity Drive, it needs the city's approval because of the height of the buildings.  There is a current maximum height that a building can be in the park of 50 feet, the second and third phases of this project have 80-foot buildings.

The first two phases are expected to be completed within the next five years with the third phase sometime in the future.

The developers say the height is needed to allow for automation.

Three homeowners who live near the project expressed concerns over lighting such large buildings and the increased amount of truck traffic.

It is expected there will be about 100 incoming and 100 outgoing trucks each day in just the first phase of the project.

Community Development Director Matt Glaesman responded that because the area has already been zoned industrial there was always a plan for more traffic and noise, which was a decision that was made decades ago.

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Phase one includes a 330,000 square foot warehouse, dock and office building.  Phase two includes up to 470,000 square feet of dry goods, and an additional 45 loading docks.

Coborn's will be partnering with national food distribution company Associated Wholesale Grocers Incorporated.  The company expects to create more than 400 jobs locally.

The rezoning request will still need the approval of the St. Cloud City Council

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