If the Department of City Planning (DCP) in New York City has its way, self storage developers will soon have a much tougher time building new facilities in industrial business zones.
The pushback from the city planners comes because they are hoping to reserve these zones for businesses that create more jobs than self storage. From their point of view, it’s simple: self storage facilities take up a tremendous amount of space but rarely create more than a handful of jobs.
In his 2015 10-point Industrial Action Plan, Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed limiting self storage development in hopes of encouraging other businesses to move into the city.
But an obstacle to across-the-board restrictions against self storage development is the high demand for self storage in New York City.
“We are trying to strike a balance between protecting the city’s most active industrial areas,” DCP representative Amanda Eyer said to the Queens Chronicle, “but also allowing self storage development in some areas because there is a real demand for this industry that is growing.”
The plan for now, it appears, is to require self storage developers to get a special permit to build in industrial business zones after going through the land-use review process. Details on the permit process or what it would cost haven’t yet been released. Eyer suggested, however, that the process would be lengthy in hopes of discouraging some developers from seeing their proposed projects through to completion.
Existing facilities will be grandfathered in and will not need to acquire any special permits to expand on property they already own. Exemptions will be given to warehouses, moving companies, and specialized storage services, for example those that store artwork.
According to city planners, about a fourth of the city’s 240 self storage facilities are located in industrial business zones.