Update 5/17/18 – JHM is no longer pursuing the 5-acre parcel on which it considered building a hotel. It’s not immediately clear how the decision will affect the rezoning request for the nearby TD Self Storage project when the city council considers the application on May 22, according to the source.
Opponents continue to speak against the self-storage proposal, describing it as an ill fit with the plan for the area. Land along this section of Buford Highway backs up to Peachtree Creek, where the city intends to invest millions of dollars to create a linear park called the Peachtree Creek Greenway. To help fund the project, the city raised its hotel tax last year from 5 percent to 8 percent. It’s expected to break ground this year, the source reported.
Councilmember Joe Gebbia is among those against the rezoning and supports the planning commission’s decision not to recommend it. “I’m proud of the planning commission for making a rationalized decision based on vision statements and policy set by the council,” Gebbia told the source. “This development doesn’t meet the criteria we want on Buford Highway. Let this be a loud message to other developers.”
5/6/18 – The Brookhaven Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend against the TD Self Storage proposal for Buford Highway, concurring with the community development department. Planners don’t view the project as a good fit with the city’s comprehensive plan and overlay district for the area, according to the source.
“This is our one opportunity to get it right,” commissioner John Funny said during the meeting. “All eyes are looking to how we develop Buford Highway. This creates a precedent if we approve it.”
Francesca Aragona, an architect with Detroit-based Designhaus Architecture, argued the self-storage facility would be a good fit for the location due to its proximity to multi-family housing. “We are not trying to hinder the growth of the city,” she said. “We are trying to fuel it.”
Roger Burgin, senior vice president of development for TD, told planners the company acquired the building site for more than $1 million and is under contract to purchase the Brookhaven Laundry property next door. That site is already zoned for manufacturing, which includes self-storage as a use, the source reported. TD would include an iShare co-working space on the laundry site.
Burgin also indicated the company is in the process of acquiring a 5-acre parcel at the corner of N. Druid Hills Road and Buford Highway, on which JHM intends to build a hotel. Though TD originally wanted to pursue a mixed-use development on the used-car site, officials determined it was too small to accommodate the multiple uses and necessary parking.
Funny and commissioner Conor Sen recommended Burgin create a master plan for all of the JHM and TD projects being planned for Brookhaven and present them together, rather than have planners review each application individually.
Several residents also opposed the self-storage proposal, arguing it wouldn’t mesh with the direction the community is headed. “The sun is beginning to rise on the city of Brookhaven, and without denigrating the property owner and the architect, this proposal is a waste of the land,” Jerry Cooper, chair of the Pine Hills Civic Association Zoning Committee, told the commission.
It’s unclear if TD and JHM will pull back from separate project plans and present a comprehensive development plan to the city, or if TD will wait for the city council to make its decision before determining its next steps.
4/23/18 – TD Self Storage Enterprise LLC, a development and acquisition venture launched last year by JHM Hotels, is seeking zoning approval to build a five-story facility in Brookhaven, Ga., that would be managed by self-storage real estate investment trust Life Storage and branded under its name. The city’s planning commission will consider the proposal for the nearly 1-acre property at 2991 Buford Highway during its May 2 meeting.
The building would encompass 83,800 square feet of climate-controlled storage space. The parcel currently houses a Wheels & Deals used-car lot, according to the source.
TD is also pursuing a mixed-use project in the West End historical district of Greenville, S.C. The four-story facility would include self-storage, band-practice rooms, co-working space, street-level retail and a rooftop event venue. The project received positive feedback in March during an informal presentation to the Greenville Design Review Board Urban Panel. It’ll need formal board approval to move forward.
Launched in August, TD Self Storage is headquartered in Greenville. It was created to pursue opportunities in the Midwest and Southeast, with eventual expansion to California, Texas and other U.S. markets. Its goal is to amass an owned portfolio of more than 100 storage properties.
Since founding its self-storage division, JHM Hotels has since retired its name and created four separate hotel companies: Auro Hotels, Sarona Holdings, Siddhi Hotel Group and Sima Hotels. JHM acquired and developed hotels throughout the United States for 44 years. The group owns and operates 38 hotels in seven states, according to its website. Its brands include Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott and Westin. The group’s affiliate, JHM Restaurant Group, owns several high-end restaurants.
Based in Buffalo, N.Y., Life Storage is a self-storage real estate investment trust that operates more than 700 self-storage facilities in 28 states under the Life Storage and Uncle Bob’s brands. Its portfolio of owned and managed facilities comprises more than 49 million square feet.
Reporter Newspapers, Proposed Self-Storage Facility on Buford Highway Met with Skepticism
Reporter Newspapers, Proposed Self-Storage Building on Buford Highway Rejected by Planning Commission
Reporter Newspapers, Self-storage Building Proposed for Buford Highway in Brookhaven