Real estate developer Houle Properties Inc. intends to build a self-storage facility and other commercial businesses at 23 Bellerose Drive in St. Albert, Alberta, Canada. The company plans to begin construction this fall on indoor and outdoor self-storage at the back of the property, with the front of the lot subdivided for other ventures. A multi-story storage facility could be developed on the site in the next 10 to 15 years if demand proves high, Ben Battjes, development manager for Houle, told planners during a recent meeting.
A feasibility study determined St. Albert was a ripe market for self-storage, according to Battjes. “One of the largest groups of self-storage users is multi-families, and there’s a lot of that happening in St. Albert,” he said during the meeting.
The property is a former Standard General construction yard. Some residents who spoke during the meeting indicated the development would be an improvement, though several were concerned about lighting potentially flooding their backyards, the source reported. Houle plans to use “dark sky lights” to limit the spray of illumination, Battjes said.
Resident Finlay Campbell asked if fencing and a buffer zone could be erected between the self-storage property and homes along the boundary, but senior planner Lenore Mitchell indicated such a solution would have to be carefully examined because double-fencing has created a “no man’s land” area in the city, which has attracted homeless encampments.
Houle has indicated it will try to preserve any trees, which currently serve as a buffer between the commercial property and the neighborhood.
The developer plans to present before the city council in August, seeking a fall start date. If approved, the self-storage facility could open by mid-summer next year, Battjes said.
Houle Properties is an affiliate of Houle Financial Corp., which focuses on early stage startup investments between $100,000 and $1 million in a variety of industries in western Canada, according to the company website.
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