O&H Investments, which operates seven Affordable Family Storage facilities in Iowa and Missouri, plans to convert a former Kmart in Topeka, Kans., to self-storage. The company purchased the site at 240 S.E. 29th, which also includes two leased spaces, in July, according to the source. The plan is to retain the existing tenants, Harbor Freight and Car Toyz Audio, intact.
Expected to cost $3.1 million, the conversion will add 450-500 climate-controlled units to the interior of the building, which closed in 2002. The project will include an extensive facelift for the dilapidated structure as well as a roof replacement, and landscaping and utility upgrades.
“We take centers similar to this and do a higher-end self-storage, an adaptive reuse,” said Trent Overhue, project manager. “This particular property will be kind of unique for Topeka. It will be a drive-through facility, so you’ll actually pull in the building and out the other side. It should be nice, bright, clean. We like big open boxes like that. They fit well for what we do. This one just needs a little bit more work than most.”
Crews have already begun clearing out the building, and construction will begin once the city approves the final development plans. The facility is slated to open in early 2018, Overhue said.
O&H has asked for the formation of a community improvement district (CID) of $955,000 to support the renovations. The CID would be a 1 percent sales tax on all eligible retail sales in the district, with projected sales showing it would be complete by 2039. The Topeka City Council will discuss the request at its Sept. 5 meeting, the source reported.
Based in Council Bluffs, Iowa, family-owned O&H operates two facilities in Council Bluffs and Des Moines, Iowa, and five in Billings, Brookline, Jefferson City, Ozark and Republic, Mo. It also owns NSI Investments and TriStates Investments.