Shopping-Center Owner Lobbies to Convert Former Walmart to Self-Storage in Hendersonville, TN

Last week the Hendersonville, Tenn., Planning Commission recommended a change to the city’s zoning that could pave the way for the conversion of a former Walmart to self-storage. SSI Hazel Path LLC, which owns the Hazel Path Commons shopping center at 393 E. Main St. where the Walmart resides, requested that “interior self-storage” be added to the list of uses allowed at the property. The company acquired the 162,942-square-foot retail center in 2013 for $3.5 million, according to one source. Built in 1989, it sits on 10 acres.

Last week the Hendersonville, Tenn., Planning Commission recommended a change to the city’s zoning that could pave the way for the conversion of a former Walmart to self-storage. SSI Hazel Path LLC, which owns the Hazel Path Commons shopping center at 393 E. Main St. where the Walmart resides, requested that “interior self-storage” be added to the list of uses allowed at the property. The company acquired the 162,942-square-foot retail center in 2013 for $3.5 million, according to one source. Built in 1989, it sits on 10 acres.

The company has agreed to make improvements to the 95,000-square-foot building if it’s able to lease or sell it to a self-storage developer, according to the source. The upgrades would include a new entry composed of brick, stone, and an exterior insulation and finishing system. SSI would also remove the chain-link fence, metal canopy and overhead doors facing Main Street.

The zoning request comes after Sears Appliance Outlet, a major anchor for the center, announced it’s unlikely to renew its lease, according to Fred Rogers, the city’s planning director. Grocery retailer Food Lion is also a tenant.

Planning members have already removed some previously approved uses for the shopping center. Businesses to be excluded now include a brewery tap room and retail outlet, funeral home, indoor firing range, residential medical-rehabilitation facility, and taxidermy business. Allowed uses include a banquet hall, call center, research-development facility, re-upholstery/custom-home textiles business, and social club or lodge.

Because the storage business has low parking requirements, the development plan also includes the construction of two new outparcels in front of the facility, Rogers said. A third outparcel has already been approved for the corner of Bonita Parkway and Main Street. It could include a bank as well as a small restaurant or retailer.

The zoning request will be considered by the city’s general committee on Dec. 8, and by the Hendersonville Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Jan. 12.

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