CubeSmart, a self-storage real estate investment trust and third-party management firm, withdrew its application this week to convert a vacant Walmart in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, to self-storage. The property at 3606 Mayfield Road is in the Severance Town Center.
City staff, including planning director Richard Wong, prepared a report for the planning commission about the proposal and recommended denying the zoning request.
"We don't think that's the kind of use for the property that our residents are looking for," Wong said.
During early planning-commission meetings, CubeSmart representatives said they’d return with a proposal to add self-storage buildings on some of the center’s out parcels, a source reported. "So they thought chopping up the perimeter at Severance was going to make us happier?" asked Mayor Cheryl Stephens, adding "that really doesn't change anything."
Walmart vacated the property in 2013 but is locked into a long-term lease until January 2019, a source reported. The company was scrutinized earlier this year by the city’s board of control, which oversees zoning in the area, for using part of the 120,000-square-foot building as storage.
Severance Town Center has undergone a revitalization since the mall was purchased after foreclosure last year. The buyer, New York-based Namdar Realty Group, paid $10.5 million for the 615,573-square-foot shopping complex, a source reported. It’s currently anchored by a Home Depot and includes other retailers as well as a sandwich shop.
CubeSmart owns or manages 910 self-storage facilities across the United States. Its operating portfolio comprises more than 60.5 million square feet.