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Willmar council approves rezoning Rockstep Plaza lot for future restaurant on First Street South

Willmar City Council approved rezoning a lot in Rockstep Plaza from shopping district to general business district.

Uptown Willmar sign, old pizza hut April 7 2022.JPG
The Willmar City Council approved a request Monday from RockStep Capital, which owns the mall, to subdivide the former Pizza Hut property into a separate lot from the Uptown Willmar mall. The move will help facilitate the property for a new restaurant, Slim Chickens, which would include a drive-through facility.
Shelby Lindrud / West Central Tribune file photo
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WILLMAR — After conducting a public hearing Monday regarding the rezoning of lot four of the Rockstep Plaza Second Addition, the Willmar City Council approved rezoning the lot.

More Uptown Willmar
The Willmar Planning Commission on Wednesday took its first look at proposed changes to the lots that make up the Uptown Willmar mall property. The owner of the mall, RockStep Capital, wants to create five separate lots, including one for the old Pizza Hut, which could soon be home to Slim Chickens.
RockStep Capital, owner of the Kandi Mall in Willmar and several other mall properties across the nation, has launched a rebrand of all those properties, including the new Uptown Willmar. RockStep President Andy Weiner feels the new name has a more positive feel to it and better represents what they are trying to do at the retail hub, including turning it into more than just a shopping destination.
WILLMAR — Willmar's Kandi Mall is being renamed Uptown Willmar by owner RockStep Capital.

The building currently on the lot is the former Pizza Hut in front of the Uptown Willmar mall, and the applicant wanted the rezoning of the First Street South property from shopping center district to general business district in order to facilitate the reconstruction of the property to a Slim Chickens restaurant with a drive-thru facility, according to City Planner Kayode Adiatu.

Rezoning the property to general business district is consistent with the current zoning of other stand-alone retail businesses around that Rockstep Plaza area near the mall, and is consistent with the city’s future land use plan, according to Adiatu.

More by Jennifer Kotila:
The public hearings on Monday's Willmar City Council agenda are regarding special assessments for unpaid snow and ice removal and unpaid weed and grass mowing. The tabled action items the council is expected to consider are the rezoning and the creation of a tax increment financing district for the Unique Opportunities apartment complex project on Lakeland Drive Northeast.

Jennifer Kotila is a reporter for West Central Tribune of Willmar, Minnesota. She focuses on local government, specifically the City of Willmar, and business.

She can be reached via email at: jkotila@wctrib.com or phone at 320-214-4339.
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