Update 5/13/16 – Green Acres Storage is nearing completion on its three-story facility in Waterloo after officials initially rejected a rezoning application last year. The company and city ultimately settled for a different site at 345 Tower Park Drive, which will house the $3.5 million, 111,800-square-foot building. The facility could open by the end of May, according to the source.
The facility will feature 700 climate-controlled units, an interior unloading area, lit hallways, wide elevators and a security system with computer-controlled access. Services include truck rentals and the sale of moving and packing supplies.
“We have a loading area you can fit a semi-truck into, but [the structure] looks more like an office building,” Green told the source. “It looks nicer and nicer as we go. We’re putting $60,000 in landscaping in around here, and all that adds to the curb appeal and dresses it up.”
The location already has nearly 20 unit reservations, Green said.
3/2/15 – The Waterloo, Iowa, City Council unanimously rejected a zoning change proposed by Green Acres Storage that would have enabled the company to build a three-story self-storage facility on San Marnan Drive. While acknowledging the need for more self-storage in the city and even praising the project, councilmembers agreed with opposing residents that the targeted property wasn’t appropriate.
Homeowners on the north side of San Marnan were promised by city officials during rezoning in 2004 that future development in the area would exclude car lots, fast-food restaurants and light-industrial projects, according to the source. The proposed storage project would have been near a dental practice.
Seth Green, president of Green Acres, argued that a similar $3.5 million facility he built in Dubuque, Iowa, blends in with nearby homes and businesses, with customers loading and unloading belongings inside a closed garage. "It's not warehousing; it's self-storage," he said. "It's not a high-traffic volume. The dentist’s office next to me will have 20 times as much traffic."
The project was supported by the city’s Planning, Programming and Zoning staff. "It looks like an office building in many ways," said Noel Anderson, community planning and development director. "We thought this was a compatibly designed industrial use."
Ultimately, councilmembers upheld their promise to homeowners. “I generally do not vote against any kind of development," commented councilmember Ron Welper. "We need development to help reduce our taxes, but I can't vote for this."
Although Green said the San Marnan location was his first choice due to visibility and drive-by traffic, he could pursue a backup location along University Avenue in nearby Cedar Falls, Iowa, that is already zoned for self-storage.
Green Acres currently operates three self-storage facilities in Cedar Rapids, Dubuque and Marion, Iowa.