A largely wooded and vacant one-acre lot near Interstate 277 is about to be home to a new mixed-use self-storage facility that will house shops and offices on the ground floor with storage units above them.
A city zoning rule was changed late last year that made it easier for developers to build self-storage facilities on non-industrial sites in urban mixed-use districts. Developers are taking advantage of this, and now, plans are calling for self-storage buildings that are taller and that look more like office buildings while including restaurants or shops on the ground floor. Gone are the days of only seeing single-story cinder block buildings with roll-up metal doors. The storage buildings have gotten sexier as mixed-use developments are all the rage.
The booming apartment market is a major driver of the self-storage trend. Developers are building over a thousand new apartments along the Central Avenue corridor in Plaza Midwood. The demand for self-storage is increasing as people are staying for longer periods of time in smaller apartments, particularly because millennials are delaying home ownership and the Baby Boomer empty-nesters are downsizing. However, despite the small living space, both groups still continue to accumulate large amounts of stuff, fueling a surge in the local self-storage business.
The new self-storage building will be on Seventh Street in uptown, adding tons of new storage for the nearby growing apartment residents in the area. Another similar development is in the works near Central Avenue on College Street just north of uptown and West Morehead Street near I-277.
The Seventh Street building would be six stories tall with approximately one thousand climate controlled units. The bottom floor will provide ample space for retail, cafes and offices. Construction is slated to begin at the end of this year.
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