A proposal to build a $5 million Compass Self Storage facility at a former car dealership in Shaker Heights, Ohio, has been rejected by the city’s planning commission. The commission last week voted unanimously against converting the existing garage and showroom into a storage facility that would have housed 575 units.
One of the co-owners of the property, Debra Pando Blaushild, said the lot requires $60,000 a year in taxes. No business has operated on the lot in three years. Previously approved plans to open an automotive-repair service and used-car dealership fell through about a year ago, according to the source.
The commission deemed the self-storage proposal as an incompatible use to what is designated as a neighborhood gateway. Blaushild and Amsdell Cos., the parent company to Compass Self Storage, had sought a conditional-use permit to allow self-storage on the property.
The Sept. 11 hearing was a continuation of an Aug. 9 public hearing to allow the applicants to provide more information about the project. Amsdell President Todd Amsdell was frustrated by the process, even commenting during the meeting that he believed commission members had already made up their minds to oppose the project.
“What we’re trying to bring into the city is a viable business,” he said.
Planning Commissioner John J. Boyle III said he was opposed to recommending the conditional-use permit to the city council, believing the project might require a full rezoning measure.
Other city officials voiced concerns regarding whether the proposed project was closer to a warehouse than outdoor self-storage and it’s economic impact on the community. Amsdell officials said the facility would employ four to five employees at salaries ranging from $25,000 to $40,000 per year.
Former councilmember Al Foster argued that approving a self-storage facility on the property would set a bad precedent and “hinder future development in the area.”
Based in Cleveland, Amsdell Cos. draws its roots from the family-owned construction company founded in 1928. It has since been active in several billion dollars of real estate ventures, with a primary focus on self-storage. The company has owned and operated more than 500 self-storage facilities under various trade names in more than 27 states.
Compass Self Storage currently operates facilities throughout Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.