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Life Storage Pursues Controversial Self-Storage Conversion in Lake Zurich, IL

Life Storage Inc., the real estate investment trust (REIT) formerly known as Sovran Self Storage Inc., intends to convert an 88,000-square-foot building in Lake Zurich, Ill., to self-storage. U-Haul International Inc. recently pursued a similar project on the 9-acre parcel at 300 E. Route 22, but it was rejected by village officials. Negotiations between Life Storage and the village appear to be more favorable, according to the source.

Life Storage Inc., the real estate investment trust (REIT) formerly known as Sovran Self Storage Inc., intends to convert an 88,000-square-foot building in Lake Zurich, Ill., to self-storage. U-Haul International Inc. recently pursued a similar project on the 9-acre parcel at 300 E. Route 22, but it was rejected by village officials. Negotiations between Life Storage and the village appear to be more favorable, according to the source.

The project would be built on the northeast corner of Buesching Road and Route 22. The first phase would include storage units, a sales office and drive-through access, comprising 28,000 square feet on the property’s south end, according to developer Steven Schwartz. Ancient Graffiti Inc., a seller of home and garden gifts and accessories created from natural materials, has occupied a portion of the building for about 15 years but would move to the north end until at least 2018, the source reported.

The advisory planning and zoning commission last week voted 6-0 in favor of a special-use permit that would enable Life Storage to occupy the building. The village board of trustees is expected to vote on the proposal on Sept. 6.

Life Storage submitted its plan after U-Haul dropped its proposal. U-Haul’s plan, which included purchasing the entire property, was twice voted down by trustees in 2015 and denied a third opportunity in January. U-Haul filed a lawsuit against the village in January, alleging officials had acted improperly, according to the source.

“This is a welcome change,” planning and zoning chair Orlando Stratman said during last week’s proceedings.

"We're very appreciative to be working side by side with your staff and the entire time in navigating this process," Schwartz told the commission. The developer has completed self-storage conversions in Crystal Lake and Lisle, Ill., the source reported.

Based in Buffalo, N.Y., Life Storage operates approximately 650 self-storage facilities in 29 states under the Life Storage and Uncle Bob’s Self Storage brands. Its portfolio of owned and managed facilities comprises about 45 million square feet. The company announced its intent to operate as Life Storage following its $1.3 billion acquisition of LifeStorage LP this summer.

Sources:

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