Local resident Mike Gelatka returned to the St. John Plan Commission last week for another session regarding his project to build car condos in the triangle-shaped property his family owns just north of Aspen Cafe, at the intersection of U.S. 41 and Wall St.
“It’s unique and positive for the town,” Gelatka said. “A landmark of some sort. Something this town would have that no one else in the area does.”
In front of the same board several months ago, Gelatka first presented his idea for a concept that already exists in Naperville, Illinois, called Iron Gate Motor Condos. He said Iron Gate is like “a kind of automobile enthusiasts’ country club.”
Gelatka is using the same architect who designed Iron Gate for his project, which is dubbed Crossroads Motorplex. That architect, Steve Hansen, said the interior of the units are as much as a showplace as the cars themselves. “Like a museum,” he said. Hansen said one owner transformed his unit to resemble a vintage gas station.
Preliminary plans call for 37 units, but that could change, according to Gelatka. Plan Commission President Michael Forbes, who said he paid several visits to Naperville to see how Iron Gate operates, said the development would be a positive move for the neighboring St. John Mall.
Planning Director Rick Eberly agreed, calling it “a wonderful concept.”
Gelatka plans to start marketing Crossroads Motorplex and will have to appear before the board of zoning appeals and the Town Council for use approval prior to presenting more to the plan commission.