Creating Opportunity for Public Storage

While searching for properties in Alexandria, VA, nationwide self-storage provider Public Storage identified an ambitious development opportunity: a seven-acre site with room to develop a five-story storage facility and 350 multifamily residential units.

Though an atypical acquisition for Public Storage, the storage real estate investment trust (REIT) recognized the project’s potential. Other buyers had passed on the site, due to environmental roadblocks. With the right team in place to design and permit the project, the sale of the site’s residential portion could be profitable for Public Storage.

Faced with zoning challenges and environmentally sensitive areas, Public Storage engaged Bohler to help bring the plan to life.

Amending the City’s Master Plan

To tackle the complex zoning, a common challenge with modern self-storage development, Bohler worked to change the City’s Master Plan for the district. By amending the ordinance, Public Storage was able to get approval for the self-storage use as well as secure their desired number of units.

Driven by Public Storage’s opening date goal, the design team developed an approval strategy to expedite the complicated zoning process. First, Bohler collaborated with civic groups through multiple public meetings to garner community feedback. Then, by meeting with City staff to develop a customized permit schedule, Bohler cut the entitlement timeline nearly in half.

Reducing Stormwater Costs

Bohler then identified an opportunity to creatively reduce development costs by dedicating a portion of the site to the City. The dedication helped Alexandria create more park space. For Public Storage, it secured enough stormwater management credits to satisfy requirements for the entire development – including the future multifamily portion.

Tackling Environmental Hurdles

The site had deterred other buyers due to floodplain encroachment and environmentally sensitive areas throughout the site. Bohler navigated these challenges by strategically locating buildings, parking, and driveways away from those areas. They also designed a grading plan that enabled both the Public Storage building and future multifamily development to remain above the floodplain elevation.

Generating Additional Revenue

Until Public Storage could sell or develop the residential portion, Bohler identified an opportunity for Public Storage to earn additional revenue by temporarily using the vacant land for vehicle storage. The team designed and permitted temporary parking to generate revenue until Public Storage finalized a deal with a residential developer.

Public Storage’s Reinvestment Program

By creating opportunities for Public Storage to save time and cut costs, Bohler helped make the atypical acquisition successful and profitable for the storage REIT. The team continues to work with Public Storage on their reinvestment program, which focuses on expanding and improving its existing assets.

Throughout the East Coast, Bohler teams identify opportunities to expand storage facilities, upgrade stormwater management systems, and improve parking areas. As Public Storage looks for ways to generate additional revenue, Bohler assesses each site, proposed improvements, costs, timelines, and necessary entitlements. This due diligence and analysis helps Public Storage assess its options to make quicker decisions.

5 Stories
260K SF

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