Jumbo Self Storage LLC received approval this week to raze the Montvale Plaza banquet hall in Stoneham, Mass., and build a four-story self-storage facility in its place. The planning board voted 4-to-1 in favor of the special-use permit for the 1.23-acre property at 54 Montvale Avenue. Jumbo Storage has reached financial terms with the owner of the property, Marty Murphy, but a timeline for the project wasn’t released, according to the source.
The plans include a 120,000-square-foot storage facility in place of the existing 30,000-square-foot structure. Jumbo will next need site-plan approval from the city’s board of selectman, the source reported.
"I think it's sad we're going to lose the Montvale Plaza, but I think this is a much more suitable use for the area," said board member Daniel Moynihan, who was Murphy's attorney a decade ago during a zoning dispute regarding the property.
Board member Kevin Dolan also addressed his nostalgia about the business. "Part of me would like to see a catering business continue. It's been a hallmark of Stoneham for over 60 years, but it's just not feasible for this site,” he said.
The banquet hall is still hosting functions and will honor its bookings, said Murphy, who’s retiring. He purchased the property in 1998 for $1 million. The site contains just 76 parking spaces, which was a constant problem for the banquet hall but won’t be for a storage facility. Jumbo will contain 10 parking spaces, which is consistent with its others facilities, according to attorney Charles Houghton, who’s representing the company in the acquisition. The zoning board of appeals has already issued a parking variance for the site, the source reported.
The storage proposal has also been endorsed by local residents and the owner of the adjacent strip mall, Montvale Place.
"This is an appropriate location for this use,” Houghton says. “Given the area and the way we've designed this building, it certainly fits, and fits much better than the current use.”
Jumbo Self Storage is led by Howard Hirsh, partner, and Jay Hirsh, managing partner and co-founder, of Jumbo Capital Management LLC, a privately held commercial real estate firm specializing in office space. The company made its foray into the self-storage market in 2015 with the acquisition of a warehouse in Norwood, Mass., which it converted to storage.
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