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Niverville Council Approves Living Quarters Concept in Business Park

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Randy Kehler Crop1
Randy Kehler of Vintage Tin. Brenda Sawatzky

On Tuesday, May 3, Niverville’s town council gave their unanimous approval to an application for a combined business and living quarters concept that will be new to the business park: the caretaker’s suite.

The application in its entirety includes a four-bay commercial building as well as a row of self-storage units on a purchased lot along Pauls Street.

Business partners Faron Trippier and Randy Kehler made their pitch to council earlier this year. The plan was for Kehler to relocate his vehicle restoration business, Vintage Tin, to one of the bays within the proposed new commercial building.

The secondary part of the plan was for Kehler to create his personal living quarters immediately above the business.

According to Mayor Myron Dyck, council discussed the advantages and disadvantages of such a concept with the local Chamber of Commerce a year or two ago.

“We were thinking that we don’t want it to be residential, but at the same time we understand that more eyes on the site can lead to additional security,” Dyck says. “We also understand that to have owners available to be with their business is probably good for business, and so this is another way to hopefully further enhance business in our community. Also, there’s just a little bit more activity around there, a [few] more eyes on site. We saw value in that.”

But Dyck wants to make it clear: these industrial lots are not zoned for residential and families will not be making their homes there.

Kehler is excited at the prospect of his blended home and workplace. Having gained council’s approval, Kehler and Trippier anticipate putting shovels in the ground as soon as the frost lifts.

If all goes well, the three remaining 30- by 40-foot bays will be ready for lease this fall. The self-storage units should be ready soon after.

The duo want to ensure that the building has appeal to almost any type of business, whether it’s office, storage, manufacturing, or retail. The façade of the building, which faces south, will have the inviting aspects of a strip mall with large front windows and plenty of parking in the front and rear.

“We’re lighting it so that you will be able to see it from the highway,” Kehler says. “It will be very visible.”

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