Self-Storage facility to replace blighted retail strip in Smyrna

Existing strip mall on Spring Road (photo by Haisten Willis)Existing strip mall on Spring Road (photo by Haisten Willis)

Self-storage unit approved

There will be more space for Cobb County residents to store their old photos, clothing, furniture and other keepsakes in the near future as a dilapidated retail strip center is set to be replaced by a three-story self-storage unit on a busy stretch of Spring Road. The news follows a 5-1 rezoning approval by the Smyrna city council.

The property located at 2520 Spring Road previously was home to a percussion store and a Hispanic grocery, partially obscured by a RaceTrac gas station. It is located less than a mile from the Atlanta Braves’ SunTrust Park. It’s not the most exciting news, but most of the council agreed it’s an upgrade.

Rendering of the new storage facility

Rendering of the new storage facility

Derek Norton in favor

“It’s going to be a good-looking product and I can’t wait for that building to go away,” said Derek Norton, who represents the area on the Smyrna city council. “When they first brought this idea to us we were a little lukewarm. We wanted a restaurant, maybe some more retail. They tried to assemble some properties next to this, unsuccessfully. They’re dealing with an elevation change and there are all kinds of challenges with that property. They’ve done everything we’ve asked, including the addition of retail and repositioning the building.”

[epq-quote align=”align-left”]“When they first brought this idea to us we were a little lukewarm. We wanted a restaurant, maybe some more retail. They tried to assemble some properties next to this, unsuccessfully. They’re dealing with an elevation change and there are all kinds of challenges with that property. They’ve done everything we’ve asked, including the addition of retail and repositioning the building.” — Derek Norton[/epq-quote]

The 113,895-square-foot, climate-controlled facility will also include 4,260 square feet of retail/office space. Norton noted the unusual layout of the 2.7-acre lot and said it will be a big improvement over what has become an eyesore in an increasingly upscale part of town.

It’s unclear as of this writing what brand of storage facility will be built on the site, as the company which is developing the property is officially called 2520 Spring Road LLC.

This is a good use of this property and gets rid of an eyesore,” said Doug Dillard, the attorney representing the company.

Maryline Blackburn opposed

While five council members were on board with the idea, Ward 3’s Maryline Blackburn wasn’t one of them, issuing the lone “no” vote. She feels the city could do better than store people’s belongings in such a busy part of town.

“It’s a prime piece of real estate, and you’ve got 330,000-plus cars going by there every day. In my opinion, it has a better use for something more than a storage unit.” she said. “We have a storage unit already that’s almost a block and a half away from there behind the QuikTrip gas station. We don’t need another storage unit, we need something that’s going to be more attractive to the citizens coming into our city.”

[epq-quote align=”align-left”]“It’s a prime piece of real estate, and you’ve got 330,000-plus cars going by there every day. In my opinion, it has a better use for something more than a storage unit.” she said. “We have a storage unit already that’s almost a block and a half away from there behind the QuikTrip gas station. We don’t need another storage unit, we need something that’s going to be more attractive to the citizens coming into our city.” — Maryline Blackburn[/epq-quote]

Smyrna senior planner Rusty Martin noted that self-storage units typically generate only between six and 30 car trips per day, and thus the facility will only have 33 parking spaces rather than the 80 normally required for a building of its size.

While it’s decidedly unexciting in both appearance and function, self-storage has nonetheless seen a construction boom in recent years, growing to become a $38 billion industry with some 50,000 facilities consuming 2.3 billion square feet of rentable space. Roughly one in 11 Americans rents one, and pays an average of $91.14 per month for the privilege.

Despite the sometimes controversial nature of self-storage facilities, no one spoke in favor or against the proposal during public comment. Construction is expected to begin within a month.

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