Against Neighbor and Staff Wishes, City Council Approves Storage Facility

In April of 2018, the city council of Clearwater, FL allowed a developer to knock down an aging office building in the neighborhood of Skycrest and build a storage facility in its place. The vote was 4-1 in favor of the developer.

This was despite the fact that this was against the wishes and advice of the neighborhood residents and the city’s own staff.

Planning and Development Director Michael Delk advised the City Council to deny the zoning change from office to commercial, saying the storage project did not fit the character of the area, conflicts with the city’s strategic plan and could be a blow to the historic and transitional neighborhood.

Economic Development Director Denise Sanderson warned a storage facility would produce only about four jobs and $462,000 in taxable sales over 10 years. This is way below the predicted 210 jobs and $16 million in taxable sales from an upgraded office.

According to the building’s owner, since the recession prospective buyers for the building came and went. They realized it would take too much money to renovate and be difficult to recruit tenants. This led attorney Brian Aungst Jr. who represented the developer to call the storage project an “objective improvement” over the dilapidated building that is not turning a profit.

But Skycrest Neighborhood Association President JoAnna Siskin said she wished elected officials would listen to residents’ concerns fearing the neighborhood will begin losing its character.

“We are not a warehouse district or an industrial park,” she said. “It’s not just about us. If they can put one in an older neighborhood, are we the beginning of where they want to put storage facilities?”

Why let this refrain be repeated over and over again? As stated above, self-storage facilities are terrible uses of commercial land and produce way less economic value than a run-of-the mill office. They also are scars on the neighborhoods they invade.

XS Spaces wants to help change this. Storage is always in demand and now with XS Spaces you can rent out your space and make $100, $200, or even more every month. Why let it go to some self-storage facility when it can be yours?

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