Working its way through the review process in Yonkers is an application by Safeguard Self Storage for an 8-story self-storage building containing approximately 180,000 square feet to be built at 390 Riverdale Ave. The site is in the BA general business and apartment-high density zone. The applicant made a presentation to the Yonkers Planning Board during its April 10 meeting.
Stan Bonilla, senior vice president for development at Safeguard Self Storage told the planning board that the company’s facility in Yonkers at 188 S. Broadway is “currently very full, operating at 97% occupancy on average, which means we have no units to rent to anybody.”
Safeguard operates in six states, according to its website. It opened its first facility in New Orleans in 1989 and now offers more than 3.5 million square feet of storage space. In 2006, it relocated its corporate offices from New Orleans to Atlanta in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
“We do have 80 properties we currently own, 74 open facilities and the other properties are under construction, this one being in the pipeline,” Bonilla said. He said that the supply of self-storage space in the Yonkers market is low. “Our goal is to build not the most properties, but the best properties and we feel that this property does address that.”
The proposed facility will include approximately 3,600 square feet of retail space fronting on Riverdale Avenue. Attorney Anthony B. Gioffre III of the White Plains-based law firm Cuddy & Feder explained that the facility will not offer outdoor storage for items such as boats or vehicles and would prohibit storage of flammable liquids, highly combustible items and radioactive or other hazardous materials.
“The premises will be staffed and open to the general public from approximately eight in the morning till six in the evening. Some limited customers will have 24-hour access to their storage units, but that will not be for the general public,” Gioffre said.
Gioffre told the planning board that Safeguard is under contract to acquire the premises and its self-storage facility is intended to principally serve the needs of Yonkers residents.
The project would have 43 parking spaces, meeting city requirements. Planning board members appeared to like most aspects of the proposal, but there was a suggestion that the yellow building exterior, which is in keeping with the visual branding of the company, be toned down. The size of proposed exterior signs also was questioned.
Gioffre said, “The premises will be staffed by four employees, three part time and one full time and there will be approximately two or three employees on-site each day. Access to the facility will be restricted to authorized persons only. The facility will use an app-based, Bluetooth, keyless entry system that will permit customers to enter the building and access their units using their mobile devices. Alternatively, customers will be able to access the building using a key fob.”
Gioffre said that the project should not be affected by the Con Ed moratorium on new gas hookups since they applied for service before the moratorium went into effect on March 15.
The applicant plans to work with city officials to resolve any remaining questions. Planning board approval could come at the board’s meeting scheduled for May 8.