A Wilmington-based development company and its partners are proposing to build a storage facility on South 17th Street.
GHK Cape Fear Development submitted site plans to the city of Wilmington for a 76,000-square-foot, predominantly climate-controlled mini-storage warehouse at 1101 S. 17th St. on nearly 4 acres. The land is currently owned by GateHouse Media, which owns the neighboring StarNews newspaper and its offices.
"We've done a tremendous amount of market research starting last summer. We feel like self-storage is an asset class that is underserved in that submarket," especially for climate-controlled space, said Mike Brown, a partner in GHK and a broker with Wilmington commercial real estate firm Cape Fear Commercial.
GHK and partners have the previously undeveloped 4 acres under contract for an undisclosed amount, and the listing agent is Don Harley of Coldwell Banker Commercial SunCoast. The property's price has been $490,000 in a Loopnet.com ad.
The land is zoned light industrial, where mini-warehousing is allowed under certain conditions by the city's current Land Development Code.
"It will be a nice facility. It's going to look great from the street, where we are planning an architecturally appealing building façade. We also plan to include the best technology available in the self-storage industry," Brown said. "Self-storage is an industry that has evolved over the past 20 years from an old business model where you have multiple linear buildings with a lot of non climate-controlled space, to present day where we are seeing facilities that utilize high-end architectural elements which better fit the urban streetscapes, not to mention advances in product offerings available to the customer."
Nationally and locally, the demand for storage space
outside of homes continues to increase, with a number of projects underway or planned in Wilmington.
The mini-storage facility would be a first for GHK Cape Fear Development and its partners, said Brown, who became interested in the industry during a move last spring when he found it difficult to find any available mini-storage space.
GHK Cape Fear Development is involved in numerous other projects in Wilmington and the surrounding area, including project management for office buildings on the way to Autumn Hall on Eastwood Road and the Publix grocery store that opened on Bragg Drive in Wilmington in August.