Update 10/27/16 – Tuesday The Huntingburg Common Council approved PCI’s request to rezone 11-acres of land along the south side of 22nd Street.
Council members Blessinger and Tim Wehr opposed the rezoning, siding with several residents who resisted the project and adding the self-storage development would be more appropriate in another part of the city, according to the source. Wehr suggested a property for sale in a less residential area as an alternate location.
While Blessinger said he didn’t have an issue with the storage development itself, he was concerned about PIC’s plans for the remaining acreage. The storage company has yet to reveal its plans for the portion of the property to the west, the source reported.
Councilman Jeff Bounds, who voted to approve the ordinance, noted he spoke with residents, the developer and local realtors to determine the impact the rezoning would have on the area. Two of the three realtors said property values wouldn’t be affected by the project, which was a chief concern expressed by residents. Bounds also noted he was provided with a study of a similar storage development in another state that showed property values weren’t impacted.
In addition to research, Bounds relied on his own experience as a resident when a development was proposed near his home. “I remember when the three homes across from me were [torn] down. There was a lot of angst in the community about what was going to replace them. I even became somewhat accustomed to the green space across the street from me,” he said. “Then when there was talk of the Family Dollar going in, I went through the whole process. I didn’t want it and didn’t like it. I’m just trying to say from a personal perspective how I came to this conclusion.”
Bounds said he was confident PIC would be considerate of its neighbors when developing the rest of the site. “Given some time, it is going to be a welcome addition to Huntingburg. What you are putting there is needed by the people in town,” said Bounds, adding he’d likely rent space at the facility.
Only one resident spoke against the project during Tuesday’s meeting. “My neighbors were very much opposed to the development in the residential area,” said Steven Beck, who lives on East Northview Drive. He noted that although PIC’s facilities were of high quality, he was also concerned about future development of the remaining acreage. “There are no guarantees the developer won’t develop it and then sell it in five years to another developer that won’t have the same standards,” he said. “The general feeling is that we [citizens] can come to a meeting, we are heard but there is really no listening to our concerns. We would like to keep it a residential area.”
9/29/16 – Progressive Investment Company LLC (PIC), a real estate development firm that operates self-storage facilities under the Access Storage Now brand, intends to build a storage facility on a 3-acre portion of a vacant field in Huntingburg, Ind. The planning commission recently voted 6-3 in favor of the developer’s rezoning request despite opposition from local residents, according to the source.
PIC plans to buy 11 acres of vacant land along the south side of 22nd Street, but the self-storage project would be restricted to a 3-acre portion on the northern edge of the property. Most of the remaining land would be set aside for possible office space in the future, with the southern section of the field “deed restricted to single-family homes,” the source reported. The project requires the land to be rezoned from residential to heavy-commercial use.
Though the southern portion of the field borders the backyards of residences on 21st Street and PIC would restrict tenant access to the northeast corner of the lot, residents on the north side of 22nd Street strongly opposed the plan during a recent planning meeting.
“I’m all for business, but being a residential neighborhood, I feel [the self-storage facility] will pull down the property values and pull down future revenue for the city if you allow that there,” said Jim Criswell, who has lived in the community since 1989. Members of Mason Lodge 520 also unanimously oppose the project, according to the source.
When asked by commissioner and city council member Kerry Blessinger if PIC was open to rezoning only a portion of the field as heavy commercial, the company’s managing member, Chris Tretter, said that scenario was unfavorable based on plans for future development.
The city council will review the application within the next 90 days.
PIC is a development and leasing company. It owns and manages a variety of properties including commercial office buildings, manufacturing facilities, short-term storage and warehouse/distribution centers, according to its website.
Based in Ferdinand, Ind., and founded 25 years ago, Access Storage Now operates nine Indiana facilities, with a 10th under development.
- Dubois County Free Press: Huntingburg Self Storage Facility Concerns Neighborhoodâ€™s Residents
- DuBois County Free Press: Huntingburg Council: Approves Rezoning to Allow Storage Development