Bee Safe Storage and Wine Cellar, a Greensboro, N.C.-based self-storage operator with five locations in the state, is planning two new facilities in Charlotte and Winston-Salem, N.C., its first in downtown markets. The Charlotte project has caused some controversy due to its proximity to a light-rail station, while the other is slated to be built across from a minor-league baseball stadium.
The Charlotte project was approved this week by the city council with a 7-4 vote after members debated its appropriateness for the site and compatibility with investment the municipality has made in expanding its light-rail service. Bee Safe will erect a five-story structure comprising 105,000 square feet of storage space on 1.25 acres near the Blue Line’s New Bern Station. The facility will include 3,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, fronting S. Tryon Street, according to a source.
The site backs up to a townhouse development under construction near the light-rail stop. The city is investing $1.2 billion on an extension of the Blue Line, which is scheduled to open next spring. “If we’re going to make massive investments in mass transit, I want to make sure we’ll get the most out of that,” councilmember Julie Eiselt said during the meeting. “I don’t think we’re getting the most out of our development.”
“It’s not an appropriate use for a storage facility when we ought to be able to figure out how to put more people and uses in that area,” agreed councilmember Vi Lyles. “This is just an underutilization of an investment we’ve made.”
Other councilmembers viewed the project as beneficial to residents living in nearby multi-family housing developments, which have increased demand for storage space. “Because of what we’re seeing with new housing development, a lot of people are utilizing the storage; a lot of those storage facilities are filled up,” said councilmember LaWana Mayfield.
“It’s an amenity, as we are building a lot of apartments along the light rail,” agreed councilmember Kenny Smith. “This type of use will enhance the investment that we’ve made.”
The facility is one of three projects Bee Safe has planned for Charlotte, a source reported.
In Winston-Salem, the company intends to develop a storage facility at 110 S. Broad St. across from BB&T Ballpark. The façade of the building will differ from the typical Bee Safe exterior design to fit aesthetically with other planned development in the area, owner Roy Carroll told a source. Construction is scheduled to begin early next year.
The two planned projects will push forward despite an earlier announcement that Bee Safe has decided to scale back its development plans in oversupplied markets in the Southeast, including a 4-acre project that had been planned for Greensboro, N.C. Carroll indicated, however, that the company would continue to move forward on five projects planned for the Triad area of Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem.
Carroll is also founder and CEO of The Carroll Cos., a real estate development firm in business for more than 30 years. The developer has built or has under construction more than 15,000 apartment homes with an asset value of more than $1.4 billion, according to its website. The company has more than $500 million invested in development projects in the Carolinas, Tennessee and Texas.
- News & Record: Carroll's Bee Safe Storage Plans Two 'Urban' Locations
- The Charlotte Observer: Charlotteâ€™s Light Rail Doesnâ€™t Usually Lead to This Type of Development