Real estate developer James Petrocelli received unanimous approval from city officials this week to convert a vacant building into a 30,500-square-foot self-storage facility in Brightwaters, N.Y. The former car-repair and rental facility at 59 Orinoco Drive will be converted into a two-story, 28-foot-high storage facility containing 428 units. It’ll be the largest commercial project in a decade for the mostly residential village of Brightwaters, which rarely has applications for industrial or commercial development, according to the source.
The project was both criticized and supported by residents during a public hearing on July 6, the source reported. Some said a storage business was “unnecessary and potentially dangerous” for the area. "I don't really feel the residents are serviced by this," said Phillip Singer, who lives in the community.
Another resident said he preferred Petrocelli’s previous proposal for the parcel. “I'd rather have senior housing than mini-storage," said Carmine Chiappetta, adding that city officials should develop a master plan before allowing development.
Resident Mark Mulvey supported the project, calling it an improvement over the site’s vacant buildings. "I like the idea of turning it into something that generates income for the village," he said, calling it the least offensive use of the property.
Petrocelli’s attorney, Raymond Giusto, called the vacant building "an eyesore" and "subject to vandalism," during the hearing. He added that self-storage would be "one of the most benign, non-offensive uses of this property. There's hardly another use that has lower intensity.”
Petrocelli received a variance from the village's zoning board of appeals in October to operate self-storage. The facility will be open daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Petrocelli agreed to the board's request to limit Sunday hours from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.