New storage facilities proposed in Slinger

By JOE VANDELAARSCHOT - Daily News

April 18, 2017

This is an undated artist’s drawing of what a proposed new area of storage units in Slinger could look like, once all the construction phases are completed, which could take several years. The proposal, which is in the very early stages, is to be discussed at the Slinger Planning Commission’s April 26 meeting.
Submitted drawing

A Slinger area developer is proposing the construction of about 52,000 square feet of enclosed storage space on a 4.42 acre property on the south side of American Eagle Drive.

The proposal by Kevin Dittmar goes before the village’s Planning Commission at the April 26 meeting. According to documents provided by the village, when all of the possible storage buildings are completed, which could take place over a several year period, the property and buildings are expected to have an estimated fair market value of $2 million. The site is bounded on the west by Interstate 41 northbound on-ramp and Highway 60.

“We’re going to build the project in phases which will be determined by demand,” Dittmar said. “Right now it’s too early in the process to say how many units we might build at the start.”

According to documents provided by the village, the commercial grade storage facility is intended to serve residents of Slinger and Cedar Lake with a focus on the condominium and rental facilities on the east and west side of I-41. No outside storage or business activities will be permitted.

Carla Dunn, vice president of sales and administration for Dittmar Realty, Inc. said the significant features that will distinguish this project from other self-storage facilities will involve the substantial investment in architectural upgrades, including 30 percent brick on exterior walls, cedar-style shakes under gables, numerous windows, decorative awnings and landscaped planting beds.

“The buildings have been designed such that all doors face the interior of the site and all lighting will be comprised of ‘cut-off fixtures which prevent illumination from extending beyond the property boundary,” Dunn said. “The project will also serve as a significant noise and sight buffer from the traffic on Highway 60 and I-41. Because the site is located in a TIF District, all the tax revenue will go to the village instead of being shared with other taxing authorities. The site has been for sale and vacant for over 10 years.”

Plans call for the self storage space to have various sizes including 10 feet by 10 feet, 10 by 20, 10 by 30, and 12 by 30. They expect to have sizes not contained in traditional self storage facilities to accommodate larger boats and campers.

“The site was previously optioned in 2005 by a Hartford based furniture store,” said Village Planner Marty Marchek in a memo to other village officials. “Site and architectural plans were approved by the village for the proposed development of a 20,166 square-foot furniture store which was never constructed.”

Marchek said Section 4 of the village’s zoning ordinance includes a list of criteria related to where self storage facilities may be located.

“The Planning Commission is require to make a finding that ‘some of the criteria are met’ before any use is approved,” Marchek said. “Section 4 also enables the Planning Commission to require ‘additional conditions’ related to self storage facilities including specific security measures such as fencing and lighting.”

The village ordinance states “self storage facilities may be less desirable that other higher quality uses in certain commercial and industrial zoning districts. This is due to a lack of job creation, lower quality buildings and site improvements and a less desirable visual appearance than other land uses.”

The ordinance states “self storage facilities should be located on sites which have locational characteristics which may be adverse to accommodating higher quality land uses.”

The site is zoned B-2 Commercial Business which allows self storage facilities as a conditional use. At the April 26 meeting the Planning Commission is to review the “concept to develop” the self storage facilities.

The project was to be discussed at an April 12 meeting of the Planning Commission, but that meeting was canceled.