Update 12/30/15 – The Lock Up Self Storage will be able to move forward with its plan to develop a new facility in Milford, Conn., when revised zoning regulations take effect on Jan. 8, according to a source. Among the zoning changes approved by the planning and zoning board this month is the allowance of self-storage in a Corridor Design District, which matches the designation of the Bridgeport Avenue site.
The property is along U.S. Route 1, which serves as the major access point into Milford Center. The revised zoning regulation requires self-storage to be within 200 feet from an entrance or exit to a limited access highway. Access to the Lock Up facility will be almost directly across from the Exit 34 ramps to Interstate 95, the source reported.
In addition to being the site of the former Liberty Rock Motel, the property was also once home to the Liberty Rock, which may have played a role during the American Revolution. According to folklore, militiamen hid behind the rock to fire upon British troops as they landed in Milford. The rock was relocated to the other side of Bridgeport Avenue several years ago, according to the source.
12/18/15 – The Lock Up Self Storage, which operates more than 30 facilities in eight states, intends to develop a three-story self-storage facility on a site that once housed the Liberty Rock Motel in Milford, Conn. The 85,000-square-foot facility will be built on 1.25 acres and offer about 63,000 rentable storage space in 669 units, according to the source.
The planning and zoning commission approved several applications for the project on Dec. 15, including the site plan and changes to zoning. Liberty Rock Enterprises LLC currently owns the two adjacent motel properties at 417-421 Bridgeport Ave., but the Lock Up is under contract to acquire the land, pending planning-and-zoning approval.
The commission agreed to change the zoning for the parcel at 417 Bridgeport Ave. to unify both properties under District 2 zoning and enable the self-storage development. Commission chair Benjamin Gettinger was the lone dissenting vote on the motion, which passed 7-1, the source reported.
Liberty Rock Enterprises tore down the motel after purchasing the property in 2009. The site has been vacant for seven years. Attorney John W. Knuff, representing The Lock Up, told commissioners the property had remained vacant despite previous attempts to market the site for development. Part of the problem, Knuff argued, was having two zoning designations on what was viewed as a single development site. Five different zones are within close proximity to the site, he said. Board vice chair Edward Mead supported the self-storage proposal, noting he believed it would improve what had become an eyesore.
The facility will be designed to resemble an office building featuring a brick facade, glass and landscaping, Knuff said. Four or five mature trees will be removed and replaced with other trees and shrubs, according to Rob Baltramaitis, project engineer. The building will include an interior unloading area for vehicles, according to the source.
Some residents objected to the project, voicing concerns about lighting and increased traffic. Lighting at the facility will be designed to minimize shine from the property, and no lights are planned along Concord Street, Baltramaitis told commissioners.
The facility will also have video surveillance, and the office will overlook the unloading area to provide additional security, according to Bob Soudan Jr., president of The Lock Up.
“We build, own and operate for our own accounts,” Larry Smith, vice president of development for The Lock Up, told the source. “Seventy-five percent of our customers are female. They feel very safe and secure in the type of facility we operate.”
The Lock Up Self Storage is the operating brand of family-owned Lock Up Development Group, an affiliate of BRB Development LLC, which has offered self-storage services since 1976. The company currently operates self-storage facilities in Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey and New York. It owns and manages more than 1.6 million square feet of storage space.
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- Milford Mirror: Former Liberty Rock Motel to Become Self-Storage Facility
- Milford Patch: Former Milford Motel Site to Become Storage Facility