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Self-storage coming to former Twin Fair, Bank of America collections center in West Seneca

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2970 Transit-U Haul

A rendering of the proposed new U-Haul of West Seneca facility, at the former Twin Fair department store at 2970 Transit Road in West Seneca.

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The former Twin Fair discount department store in West Seneca – more recently used by Bank of America Corp. as an operations center – is set to become a U-Haul-run self-storage facility and truck-rental store.

Amerco Real Estate Co. – the Phoenix, Ariz.-based parent of U-Haul International – wants to reuse the building at 2970 Transit Road for climate-controlled indoor storage, while installing additional drive-up exterior storage and a three-story drive-in storage building on the large site.

It is the latest example of the popularity of self-storage development, amid a growing need by consumers and small businesses for more space to keep their belongings outside of the home. Life Storage already has a facility a block away.

It is another big change for a building that once carried discount goods on shelves, and then office workers for one of the country's biggest banks.

Located north of Schultz Road, the 10.4-acre property was originally home to a Twin Fair store – a legendary part of Buffalo's retail history dating back to the 1950s. Long after that store closed, the 89,470-square-foot building was leased to Charlotte-based Bank of America as a credit card and consumer loans collections center, with more than 650 employees at one time.

twinfair025

Twin Fair.

That facility has since relocated three years ago to the Jamison Business Park in Elma, and Amerco bought the property in January from LGP Capital Buffalo of Monroe for $3.2 million.

Amerco, together with DiDonato Engineering and Architectural Professionals, is seeking site plan approval from the town for its proposal to renovate the office building into interior storage, while modifying it with new entrances and exits for the changed use.

The company also will construct a 12,681-square-foot, three-story storage building, for drive-in access, and to install 74 portable single-story storage units totaling 7,400 square feet within the current 492-space parking lot. Part of the operation also will include a truck and trailer store  for U-Haul of West Seneca, which would store its own vehicles on the site, but no other vehicle storage is envisioned, officials said.

The buildings would feature a mixture of architectural wood paneling and other paneling, as well as glass. The project would also include reconfiguration of the existing parking and concrete sidewalk, new fencing, and new landscaping and greenspace.

Neighbors expressed misgivings or even opposition to the project last year, citing concerns about hazardous materials, animals, debris and garbage, as well as traffic, and suggesting it doesn't fit with the neighborhood.

But the town rezoned the property and granted a special-use permit for the project last November.

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