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(Beloit, WI) By Shaun Zinck, Beloit Daily News

A former lumberyard near the Interstate 39/90 - Interstate 43 interchange in Beloit has been sold.

Last year the city council denied a conditional use permit that would have allowed U-Haul to move into the location. Councilors said the land was meant for another type of development, and believed waiting for a different buyer would pay off.

Shortly after the council denied U-Haul, developers Norm, Dan and Kirk Weitzel looked at the property in the spring of 2013. They made an offer on 11.2 acres in the summer, and closed in December. Norm is the father to Dan and Kirk, Dan Weitzel said.

He said they own the Baymont Inn in Janesville, and the Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Suites and the Baymont Inn in Rockford.

“Beloit is a nice market with a lot of people,” he said. “It’s a really nice piece of land.”

Pointe ONE Commercial Real Estate listed the Beloit property for $2.4 million. Drew Pennington, director of planning and building services for the City of Beloit, said the land sold for $1.8 million.

Dan Weitzel said they do plan to build a hotel on the property, however, it will depend on the plans to reconstruct the interchange at Interstate 39/90 and Interstate 43.

“We really can’t plan anything until their final plan is determined,” he said. “We have a couple plans, and a hotel is in one of them.”

Dan said they could build a restaurant on the property if the plans for the hotel don’t work out. He added they are keeping tabs on the interstate plans, which could be finalized this year.

City Manager Larry Arft said the city didn’t have anything against the U-Haul company, but city officials felt the site was not meant to be used for that type of service.

“There was no question that a site in that location with the amount of interstate visibility would eventually develop,” he said. “The U-Haul decision was made because that’s not the proper use for that property. (U-Haul) wouldn’t have generated much economic activity.”

Arft said the Wisconsin Department of Transportation should finalize the interchange plans by the end of this year. He said none of the land that the Weitzels purchased should be needed for the interchange.

“We are very excited, and we are looking forward to seeing their plans for the new development,” Arft said.

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