The Buffalo Planning Board on Monday evening approved a pair of self-storage development projects on Tonawanda Street, clearing the way for reuse of a long and narrow strip of vacant land and a three-story former manufacturing building.
Developers Jack Ruh and Wayne Bacon plan to first remediate the two properties at 31 and 150 Tonawanda under the Brownfield Cleanup Program, before starting on their $5.25 million Secure Storage project. Designs by Carmina Wood Morris DPC call for converting the former Fedders Radiator Building at 31 Tonawanda into indoor, climate-controlled storage on each of the floors – accessible only from inside the building – while constructing a series of 112 ground-level self-storage garages at 150 Tonawanda that are not climate-controlled.
Ruh, who already owns two Secure Storage facilities in Niagara Falls and Orchard Park, said the users are likely to be a mixture of businesses and “just people looking to store stuff,” noting that the demand is driven by “the absence of a Class A facility.”
Entry for the outdoor metal units will be on the southern end of the property, with direct access to each unit from the outside, and an exit at the north end. All of the indoor units across the street will be accessible only after entering the main building, which will also contain a single apartment for the property manager and two other commercial tenant spaces or business suites available for lease.
The red-brick masonry facade of the building will be repaired and repainted, while adding new blue and gray metal cladding and additional windows.
Ruh said he expects to finish the cleanup and start construction by the end of the year, with an opening slated for summer 2021.
The board also approved a request by Ellicott Development Co. to combine 173 and 177 Elm St., 492 Michigan Ave., and a portion of 474 Michigan, as part of the redevelopment of the two Elm properties into apartments and office space. And it backed Mt. Aaron Baptist Church's request to modify its Mt. Aaron Village housing project at 695 Genesee St. by using an adjacent empty lot at 613 Adams St. for more green space and a wider driveway.