Friday, August 5, 2016

Contain Your Enthusiasm, Four New Self Storage Facilities Are Planned For Atlanta

I, like many Atlantans, am worried about what seems to be an endless onslaught on new "luxury apartments." Aside from their rents being out of the reach of many, in a number of cases, the complexes are replacing unique structures and/or trees.  

While these are all unfortunate byproducts of a multi-family development market on the upswing, the worst effect may be the increase in proposed self-storage facilities. 

Lindbergh Self Storage will soon open in place of the former Varsity Jr.  
The beloved Varsity Jr. on Lindbergh Drive was already a victim of this phenomenon, with workers nearing completion of the new self-storage and retail facility that is replacing it.
Now, I've learned that four new self-storage facilities are being proposed within a short distance of the new facility on Lindbergh.  Not only that, there are already numerous existing storage businesses in the immediate area. 

Land being cleared for the new "Lenox Self Storage" 
1) 2531 Lenox Road - Work on "Lenox Self Storage" is already underway at the corner of Lenox Road and Buford Highway. The parcel is 3.5 acres but with only a little over 1 acre of useable space. The north fork of Peachtree Creek comes through the site as does a sewer line.  There is also a lot of rock and a steep slope, leaving the limited amount of land to be developed.  With the assistance of a local resident, the five-story, 600 space self-storage facility is being designed to look like an office building in attempt to match the aesthetic of neighboring businesses.  This location is a mere three tenths of a mile from Extra Space Storage on Cheshire Bridge Road and just six tenths of a mile from the Varsity Jr. property. 

(The Extra Space Storage was an especially efficient operation given it represents the renovation of rather than demolition of a former Service Merchandise retail building.)

2) 2033 Monroe Drive – "RRB DEVELOPMENT, LLC" is proposing the demolition of an existing building and the construction of a four-story, 119,910 square foot building for climate-controlled self-storage with offices and 32 parking spaces.  The building the firm hopes to demolish is not empty, as it currently serves as the headquarters of Proof of the Pudding, a popular Atlanta-based catering and events company in business since 1979.  A Proof representative with whom I spoke indicated that they had heard the "rumors" of the storage facility, but were waiting to see how the redevelopment proposal panned out before making plans to vacate.  The Proof property sits on 1.43 acres.  

3) 2160 Monroe Drive – Barely three tenths of mile from the Proof property, another storage facility is being proposed. Easily the most upsetting, another firm plans to demolish the landmark "Mushroom" former Trust Company Bank designed by famed architect Henri Jova in 1962. The project would involve the demotion of the unique mid-century modern building (currently home to a restaurant/lounge/daiquiri bar  aptly named Cirque) and the construction of a new five-story, 85,890 square foot climate- controlled self-storage facility with ground level retail space and 28 parking spaces.  

The building has served a number of purposes following SunTrust's 2000 closure of the building as a bank.  Piebar, a restaurant from Concentrics Hospitality, occupied the space from mid 2005 until late 2007.  While the subsequent restaurants/lounges/clubs have been less than exciting, I have to think that someone can do something better than a big ole storage joint.  The bank building sits on just under one acre.  

(By the way, there is already a large Public Storage facility at 2115 Monroe Drive, literally between the two newly proposed projects.)

4) 1484 Northside Drive – "RRB DEVELOPMENT, LLC" also plans to redevelop a 1.58 acre property on Northside Drive next to the Goodwill store & donation center.  The project would involve the demolition of existing building (currently a Hertz equipment rental business) and parking lot.   The firm would then construct two new buildings, including a four-story, 127,790 square foot climate-controlled self-storage facility and a single story 3,597 square foot office building. The project would have 25 parking spaces and 4 loading spaces.

Each of the latter three proposed, but not yet approved or under construction parcels are zoned L-1 (light industrial) meaning they are already zoned appropriately for their proposed new uses.  

In my mind, the Lenox and Northside locations make the most sense.  The two Monroe properties makes the least sense.  

Storing your stuff is not cheap

With seemingly endless options through which one can liquidate unwanted items, why do so many  feel the need to contribute to what is projected to be a $32.7 billion business this year

Ebay, Craigslist, local Facebook selling groups, Etsy, Close5, 5Miles, Mercari, letgo and your classic selling [purging] opportunities like yard sales, countless avenues exist to help you get rid of stuff.

Bloomberg Businessweek noted that between 1998 and 2012 the number of self storage units in the U.S. doubled.  The publication quoted Ronald Havner, CEO of industry leader Public Storage, as crediting the rise to what he called the "four D's" - Death, Divorce, Disaster & Dislocation. 

Clearly the developers are proposing these projects because there is a need: remove the need, sell your crap.  

Do you think Atlanta needs all these additional storage facilities? Do you currently rent a storage unit? Given the alternative, what type of business do you think would thrive in the Jova building?

Please share your thoughts below.  


Anonymous said...

Alternate headline: Three new office/retail projects coming to Atlanta. Then you could bury the part about storage being incorporated later in the blurb.

Or you could do the fainting couch method.

Ham said...

Agree the boom in apartments can have some unintended consequences. The self storage business is obviously one of them. I also fear is that as many of these new residents marry, increase their incomes and have children a larger number may head to the burbs. This will leave a lot of unoccupied apartments which means rent reduction and maybe not the same quality of tenant they have now.

Also, I totally agree that the demolition of the former Pie bar site should be a crime.

Anonymous said...

ATL metro is conspicuous consumption headquarters. Pack rats and hoarders need a place to store all their overpriced junk they can not handle or afford to part with. Get the fainting couch out the self storage stockpile if the headline is is so truthful and upsetting.

postcub said...

Storage places add NOTHING to the community!

Why do these things even get approved??????

Anonymous said...

Just as apartment complexes must provide a certain number of parking spaces per tenant, they also need to provide some storage per apartment. There has to be someplace to store the Christmas tree and decorations, your coats and boots in the summer, and other out of season gear than in your hall closet! With the elimination of attics, basements, and garages in home plans we are left with nowhere to store these things on our own property. Demand homes and apartments with storage so we no longer have our items held hostage in a pay-by-month standoff.

Anonymous said...

Multifamily will bust then these places are destined to become section 8 or whatever the pc term is. When you see multifamily most often it is a code word for future HUD housing. Of course, location is always the key but you can't predict the future and what areas will be desirable decades down the road. Gentrification will move in the other direction again. You should learn from history, not repeat the same mistakes and try to wrap them in pretty packaging hoping those with real money buy into the myth developers and the government are currently selling.

Storage facilities don't add anything positive to a community. It is bad sign of the times. All it tells me these people that lost homes held onto their loads of personal crap and are headed into these multi housing units with voucher money.


Anonymous said...

More self storage facilities are a byproduct of the multi-family boom? Please explain. Plenty of homeowners and businesses use self storage and the industry has been around for decades.

Anonymous said...

The bowling alley in Snellville closed and they are converting the parcel into storage units. That coupled with the extended stay hotel that seems to be bustling with criminals and filth should be a concern of homeowners that just fought off apartments in that same area. Personally I have only used self storage while in college simply because I didn't want to haul stuff back home over the Summer break. My parents garage would have been the ideal place to store my stuff temporarily, but they had the audacity to actually park their cars in there.

Anonymous said...

GTF out of here with the demolition of the bank building. That is EGREGIOUS!

Anonymous said...

Of course the self storage industry has been around for decades. You can see the collateral boom for your self and all you have to do is open you eyes. There is a lot on the internet as well -please it is really simple.

Anonymous said...

One of the most prominent storage facilities is being built at 1795 Peachtree Street. They have gutted the interior of the former office building, leaving the shell, and are constructing at least 5 new floors on top of the existing structure. Most unbelievable project in Atlanta to see this type of transformation, not to mention the daily upsetting of traffic patterns during construction.

Anonymous said...

I aspire to be a bigger hoarder, just knowing I can always expand to my choice of self storage within walking distance brings me much comfort. Another thought: the timing may be perfect for the premiere of Storage Wars Atlanta.

Anonymous said...

I so miss the Varsity Jr.

Ham said...

Yes, the V Jr. was a neat little place, but I wonder how much the Varsity folks really fought to keep it open. I suspect they had their eyes on the outer suburbs, so friction with the City might have been the excuse they needed to close and open a new place.

Sanni said...

Too many, two recently moved into Decatur Top Storage on N Decatur Rd and Simply self storage across from Dekalb Farmers market. The cheapest for your buck is Avondale Mini Storage. Great prices, big spaces, handy service and you can store your vehicle.

AJ said...

To me it isn't the storage units but the zoning that allows them to be where they are. Who are we to begrudge people who need to store things, such as Xmas decorations or to be able to switch out summer clothes for winter clothes. Or for short term solutions. I moved recently and wanted to get some things out of site so my home showed better. I rented a space for a few months and then when I moved to my new house, I emptied my unit. Atlanta (& its suburban counterparts) are horrible with zoning. Should a storage unit replace the old SunTrust on Monroe? No way. But if there were land just on the other side of 85 on Armour or Ottley? Sure. But sadly, it appears that ship has sailed. The make up of our cities takes a distant second to property tax revenues which are higher in the prominent locations.

Anonymous said...

Please please please stop cutting down all the trees and please stop creating high-rise buildings that bring too many cars into one small space and create traffic gridlock.

ImAndy said...

Storage is not just a by-product of multi family development. If you've spent any time at all looking at new homes and in-fill homes in Atlanta you'll find that attic storage space does not exist anymore. Builders are finishing attics again as a bonus room and are doing this because they have to demand a certain price per square foot to make a profit due to increase land acquisition costs. They throw some sheetrock up and a $9 light fixture and count it as finished livable space. Many garages have also shrunk from 16 feet to 14.

Anonymous said...

Over the past three decades, our family has lived in eight different MODEST sized homes. Maybe it is because we have moved around the country a lot but we have never had the need for extra storage. We have owned our current home the longest (going on 10 years, 2 adults 4 kids), and we have never had the need to store anything in our attic, garage, or paid self storage.

People can come up with all sort of excuses but this nation as a whole is obsessed with EXCESS. I can't tell you the number of homes I have looked at in my years of buying and most have been crammed with too many possessions and pure junk. Ask any real estate agent if you haven't been in the market for a home lately. If life has required you to downsize from a single family ownership to multifamily rental, then you mucst also downsize your possessions.

Self storage should be temporary. Read the LINK our blogger proved. Excess baggage is what holds you back in life. Lessons were not learned from the great recession of self storage would not be booming as a business model reborn.

Anonymous said...

Location, location, location. Self storage facilities are breaking ground closest to their target consumers of multifamily and apartments. Renters. The cost of renting in these facilities is not cheap. Throwing away money and hoarding. Out of sight gives you the opportunity to go buy more stuff you don't need. Consumerism can be ugly and vicious to those that can least afford it.

Anonymous said...

What a sad and pathetic trend. Destroy a landmark Atlanta restaurant like the Varsity Jr. and put a soulless box of a storage facility in its place. That should be a crime. Atlanta is losing its soul more and more every day and is just becoming a wannabe New York, while pushing out the Middle Class.

Anonymous said...

There is another self-storage facility being proposed on Peachtree Blvd next to Sexton Woods Drive in Chamblee. The project calls for office / commercial space on the ground level, and four floors of storage above. Total of 600 storage units. It is a decent looking building, but still seems like a waste.

Anonymous said...

There is one going up in Chamblee as well, on Sexton Woods Drive opposite the Olmsted.
It is replacing a crappy carpet shop and car showroom though.