Update 11/17/15 – Fort Collins Self-Storage won unanimous approval from the planning and zoning board last week, clearing way for the company’s Lemay Avenue Brewery & Self-Storage Facility project. The seven-building storage facility will comprise 103,000 square feet in about 700 units. One 45-foot structure will include three stories and climate-controlled units. The developer plans to break ground on both businesses next March, according to the source.
The microbrewery will comprise 7,219 square feet. Earlier reports said it would be 5,500 square feet. Another company will run the brewery, but a brewer has not yet been selected, according to Scott.
Self-storage development in the Fort Collins area has heated up in recent months, Scott told the source, but he believes he’s in front of the wave. “At some point the market will be overbuilt. I think that’s always a concern,” he said. “If I began pursuing this project today, knowing how many people are now looking at Fort Collins with regard to self-storage, I might well step back and reconsider. However, I think our timing is good and our product is excellent.”
6/18/15 – Residents who live near Lemay Avenue voiced concerns during a public meeting this week about possible increased traffic that could result from the planned Fort Collins Self-Storage facility and microbrewery. Residents said they already find it difficult to turn onto Lemay from their neighborhoods due to existing congestion and a lack of traffic signals in the area, and fear the problem will worsen, according to the source.Residents who live near Lemay Avenue voiced concerns during a public meeting this week about possible increased traffic that could result from the planned Fort Collins Self-Storage facility and microbrewery. Residents said they already find it difficult to turn onto Lemay from their neighborhoods due to existing congestion and a lack of traffic signals in the area, and fear the problem will worsen, according to the source.
The project, which could break ground early next year, won’t add significantly to the current traffic congestion, according to Ken Merritt, director of planning for JR Engineering, who spoke on behalf of the developers. "The [traffic] problem already exists. This project shouldn't have the responsibility of solving a very bad situation that exists today," Merritt told city officials. "I don't disagree that it should participate. What the city has to determine is to what extent does [Fort Collin Self-Storage] participate."
Traffic impact from a project being developed a half-mile south of the self-storage facility by aerospace and energy firm Woodward Inc. has also drawn the ire of residents. "It's going to get worse with Woodward," resident Sarah Yoder told city officials. "I feel like I come to these meetings, and it's just continually frustrating because [traffic] is getting worse and accidents are happening. It's dangerous for us to leave our neighborhood. It's dangerous for me to cross the street on my bike."
The city plans to improve traffic along Lemay Avenue by constructing a new arterial road and intersection to the east of the street. The realignment could possibly include a railroad overpass and underpass near East Vine Drive, according to the source.
Merritt told officials the self-storage developers plan to improve the walkway adjacent to the property on Lemay but have no plans to improve the road or add a traffic signal. Access to the development site will be restricted to Buckingham Street, for which the developers have proposed improvements, the source reported. Plans include bike-lane markers, upgrades to the gutter adjacent to the property and eight parking spaces along the street.
Adjusted project plans include 33 additional parking spaces for the microbrewery, with 5.25 acres reserved for the self-storage facility, Merritt said. The developers plan to submit its proposal for review as early as next month, the source reported.
2/9/15 – Self-storage developer Stan Scott recently purchased 6.5 acres at the corner of Lemay Avenue and Buckingham Street in Fort Collins, Colo., on which he intends to build a storage facility and microbrewery. Scott filed a conceptual review plan with the city last September. The Fort Collins Self-Storage LLC project is estimated at $6 million and could begin in six to eight months, according to the source.
Scott’s plan is to develop an 80,000- to 100,000-square-foot storage business alongside a 5,500-square-foot microbrewery and taproom. Half of the storage facility would include drive-up units, with the remainder designated as climate-controlled space. The brewery would be equipped with a 20-barrel system, the source reported. One barrel is equal to 31 gallons.
Local design firm RB+B Architects Inc. will design the microbrewery, according to the source. Fort Collin is home to several craft breweries including the New Belgium Brewing Co. and Odell Brewing Co.
"Our brewery won't be for the new brewer just coming out of their basement, but for the aspirational brewer that wants to move to the next step beyond the typical three-barrel brewery that is common in the industry," Scott told the source.
While self-storage and beer may seem like an odd pairing, a similar concept has been successful in the Lowry area of Denver. Larimer Associates, a real estate investment and management firm, converted an old airplane hangar into a storage facility, and the Hangar 2 development also features a beer garden. The self-storage facility is solar-powered and managed by real estate investment trust Extra Space Storage Inc.
The targeted Fort Collins property is currently zoned for industrial use, which Scott believes makes it a good location for a brewery. The business will fit in with other employers in the area like Colorado State University, New Belgium, Poudre Valley Hospital and OtterBox, a manufacturer of cases for mobile devices. “We feel confident about the future of Fort Collins, and we’re proud to be a part of its continued development," he said.